Congress to Debate Katie's Law
POSTED: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 10:46am
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 12:06pm
Washington D.C. - A bill to make "Katie’s Law” the national standard will be voted on in the House of Representatives today.
The Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act (H.R. 4614) has the support of several national organizations.
It is a bipartisan bill that encourages states to maximize the potential of forensic DNA to solve and prevent violent crimes by collecting a DNA sample upon arrest at the same time as fingerprints -- for certain felony crimes.
“Tomorrow’s vote is an important one that will go a long way in protecting our communities. With Katie’s Law, we have the power through advanced DNA collection to prevent the type of tragedies and pain that the Sepich family endured,” said Harry Teague, who introduced the bill in February.
Katie’s Law is named after Katie Sepich, from Carlsbad, New Mexico. Katie was 22 years old when she was raped and murdered in Las Cruces. If New Mexico had at that time required a DNA sample to be taken upon arrest, Katie’s killer would have been caught three months after the murder when the killer was arrested for another predatory crime. Instead, the killer was released back onto the streets and it was three long years before he was finally caught again and linked to Katie’s murder.
Harry Teague has worked with Katie’s parents, Jayann and David Sepich of Carlsbad to develop this national law and multiple law enforcement and victim’s rights groups have lined up to support the legislation, including the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the Surviving Parents Coalition, National District Attorney’s Association, and National Sheriff’s Association.