STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS -- (Senate - July 29, 2005)
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
By Mr. KYL (for himself, Mr. PRYOR, Mr. CORNYN, Mr. GRAHAM, Mr. BROWNBACK, and Mr. CHAMBLISS):
S. 1605. A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to protect public safety officers, judges, witnesses, victims, and their family members, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce the Law Enforcement Officers' Protection Act of 2005. This act will guarantee tough, mandatory punishment for criminals who murder or assault police officers, firefighters, judges, court employees, ambulance-crew members, and other public-safety officers in the course of their duties. Attacks on police officers and judges are serious crimes. They merit the toughest penalties. LEOPA imposes the following terms of imprisonment for attacks on public-safety officers: (1) second degree murder, 30 years to life; (2) voluntary manslaughter, 15 to 40 years; (3) assault resulting in serious bodily injury, 15 to 40 years; (4) assault with a dangerous weapon, 15 to 40 years; and (5) assault resulting in bodily injury, 5 to 20 years. The act also imposes commensurate penalties for retaliatory murders, kidnappings, and assaults committed against the family members of public-safety officers.
LEOPA includes additional provisions that will deter attacks upon police officers. The act expedites Federal-court review of state convictions for murder of a public-safety officer; it limits the damages that can be recovered by criminals for any injuries experienced during their arrest; it removes arbitrary barriers to retired officers' right to carry concealed weapons under Federal law; it makes it a crime to publicize a public-safety officer's identity in order to threaten or intimidate him; and it increases existing penalties for obstruction of justice and interference with court proceedings.
Aggravated assaults against police officers are a serious national problem. According to the most recent F.RI. report on the subject, 52 law-enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the United States in 2003. In the 10 year period from 1994 through 2003, a total of 616 lawenforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in the United States.
These officers' assailants unquestionably are among the worst criminals. Of those individuals responsible for unlawful killings of police officers between 1994 and 2003, 521 had a prior criminal arrest, including 153 who had a prior arrest for assaulting a police officer or resisting arrest. The individuals who commit these types of offenses are among the most dangerous members of the criminal class. Tough sentences for these criminals not only protect those who risk their lives to protect us; they also directly protect the public at large by removing a dangerous class of criminals from society.
Ordinary assaults against police officers have become a widespread problem. More than 57,000 law enforcement officers were assaulted in the course of their duties in 2003, and more than a quarter of these assaults resulted in injury to the officer. These numbers represent more than one of every 10 officers serving in the United States. Our society apparently has reached a point where criminals feel entitled to assault a police officer when they are being arrested. LEOPA is designed to change that understanding, to show criminals that assaults against police officers are unacceptable.
It bears mention that because of improvements in technology, recent years' numbers of officers killed in the line of duty even understate the extent of the violence that officers face. As the Los Angeles Times noted in 1994, ``the number of officers killed--an average of 60 to 70 a year since the late 1980s--would have broken records, too, if not for the advent of bulletproof vests, police experts say; about 400 officers have survived shootings over the last decade because they were wearing protective armor.'' (Faye Fiore & Miles Corwin, Toll of Violence Haunts Families of Police Officers, N.Y. Times, Feb. 21, 1994, at 1). As the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police noted recently, ``there's less respect for authority in general and police officers specifically. The predisposition of criminals to use firearms is probably at the highest point in our history.'' (Jerry Nachtigal, Crime Down, but Number of Police Officers Killed Holds Steady, Associated Press Newswires, Apr. 11, 1999).
Violence against police officers also inhibits effective law enforcement. It breeds caution among officers and hinders robust investigation. LEOPA is designed to restore balance to the law. It is designed to ensure that police officers do not fear for their safety when enforcmg the law, but instead, that criminals fear the consequences of breaking the law.
Finally, aside from their broader effects on law enforcement and society, aggravated assaults and murders of police officers simply are terrible crimes. The victims often are young and in the prime of life, leaving behind young children, spouses, and grieving parents. A few recent incidents in the news serve to illustrate the horrific toll that these homicides take on the surviving victims:
Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Shayne York, 26 years old, was murdered during an invasion robbery while waiting for his fiancee at a hair salon on August 16, 1997. He was killed solely because of his status as a police officer. The Los Angeles Times gave the following account of the crime from the testimony at the killer's trial:
The robbers yelled racial slurs and ordered customers and employees to the floor, snatching valuables from everyone inside. When one of the bandits found a law enforcement badge in York's wallet, he kicked York as he lay on the ground, according to testimony from [York's fiancee], also a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy. The gunman asked York if he ever mistreated blacks and Crips gang members at Los Angeles County's Pitchess Detention Center, where York worked. York responded, ``No, sir.'' [The killer,] an alleged Crips gang member, then pointed a pistol at the back of York's head and squeezed the trigger, prosecutors said. [York's fiancee] testified she saw York's body go limp as she felt his blood flowing onto her legs. She said she heard the gunman say, ``I always wanted to kill a pig.'' (Jack Leonard & Monte Morin, Man Guilty of Killing Off-Duty Deputy, L.A. Times, Aug. 23, 2000, at B1.)
Deputy York's killer never expressed any remorse over this senseless crime. When jurors read their verdict at his trial, he shouted at them, ``May Allah kill you all, pagans, infidels.'' (Stuart Pfeifer & Richard Marosi, Jury Recommends Death for Robber Who Killed Deputy, L.A. Times, Sept. 8, 2000, at B7.)
California Highway Patrol Officer Don Burt, 25 years old, was shot seven times by a member of a street gang during a traffic stop on July 13, 1996. As Officer Burt lay wounded on the ground, the killer shot him in the head. The Los Angeles Times, covering the killer's trial, gave the following account of the testimony describing the devastating impact of Officer Burt's death on his family:
[Don Burt's father] relived some of his happiest memories with his son--the wedding of his son and [daughter-in-law] Kristin, and the day he was told he was going to be a grandfather. But the proudest moment for both father and son was when the younger Burt joined the Highway Patrol. ``I pinned on his badge and 1 hugged him,'' the father said, tearfully. ``The proudest I'd ever seen him. The gleam he had in his eye--he was so proud.''
It was a quiet summer night the night his son died, [Burt's father] told the 12-member jury. He and his wife had just finished dinner. The telephone rang. It was their daughter-in-law's father, also a CHP officer, saying there had been a shooting in the area that the younger Burt patrolled. The elder Burt, a 30-year veteran trooper, called the CHP dispatch center to learn more. A patrol car arrived to take the parents to the hospital. ``We drove [to the hospital] in dead silence,'' Burt said. ``I knew my son was dead and 1 couldn't tell my wife. She was sitting there with hope and 1 couldn't tell her.''
Jeannie Burt said she didn't realize how serious her son's injuries were until a few minutes after they arrived at the hospital. ``I thought he wasn't hurt too bad, that everything was going to be all right,'' Jeannie Burt told jurors. But then, ``I saw Kristin's brother and he just shook his head. And 1 knew my son was dead.'' Tears streamed down Jeannie Burt's cheeks through most of her testimony. ``He wasn't perfect, but pretty close to it,'' the mother said through her tears. ``I'm grateful 1 had my son for the 25 years 1 had him. 1 wouldn't trade that with anything. I'm just so sad that my daughter-in-law has lost the love of her life. That his son does not have a father.''
Kristin Burt, widow of the slain officer, said she was seven months pregnant with their first child when her husband of nearly three years was killed. She took the stand Monday, faltering and fighting back tears as she described how the coroner told her that her husband was dead. The coroner ``held my hand and slipped Don's wedding ring into my hand,'' Kristin Burt said. (Louis Roug & Meg James, Rage in the Courtroom, L.A. Times, Apr. 18, 2000, at B1.)
Officer Burt's son, Cameron, was born two months after he was killed.
Compton Police Officers Kevin Burrell and James MacDonald were shot and killed by a wanted criminal during a traffic stop on February 22, 1993. Newspapers gave the following account of the crime: ``The officers were wearing bulletproof vests when they stopped a red pickup truck about 11 p.m., but were knocked to the ground by bullet wounds to their limbs. With the officers lying in the rain-soaked street, [the killer] pumped bullets into their heads, execution-style.'' (Jodi Wi1goren, Killer of 2 Compton Police Officers Sentenced to Death, L.A. Times, Aug. 16, 1995, at 1.)
Officers Burrell and MacDonald were both young men, with all of their parents still living, at the time of their deaths. At the killer's trial, their families described the deep trauma that the crime created. The Los Angeles Times gave the following account:
One after another, the mothers and fathers of Officers James Wayne MacDonald and Kevin Michael Burrell took the stand to cry out their losses. Three could not complete their testimony without breaking down so badly that court recessed. Burrell's mother told how she had heard the shots that killed her son a few blocks from her home. MacDonald's father, sobbing uncontrollably, blurted, ``Come home, Jimmy, let me trade places with you,'' when he was asked what he would tell his son if he could bring him back.
James and Tonia MacDonald told how they visit their son's grave twice each day in their hometown of Santa Rosa, just to chat. Clark and Edna Burrell told how neither of them can bear to visit the cemetery where their son now lies.
``I heard the shots,'' Edna Burrell said. Then she told how she reasoned that her son had been hit. ``I was listening to my police scanner,'' she said, ``and I knew it was Kevin because I didn't hear them call his name'' on other dispatch calls. ``So when she (a police officer) knocked on my door, all I could do is scream, 'Oh God, they shot my baby. ``, With that, Edna Burrell broke down. Overwhelmed, she was led from the courtroom, past where [ the killer] sat staring straight ahead. Sobbing softly, she repeated what she had said on the stand: ``How could he do that? How could he do that?''
Both sets of parents said the deaths of their sons left them feeling empty, lost and angry. ``The whole time I was praying, just to let Jimmy live until I could see him again,'' Tonia MacDonald sobbed, remembering the hours after she was told about the shooting. ``And then I was so mad at God. All I wanted was to see him one more time.''
All four parents said old friends have fallen away as grief consumed their lives. Mother's Day, James MacDonald testified, has become unbearable. ``This year, when I got up, I didn't tell her (his wife) 'Happy Mother's Day' because it's a tough day,'' he said. ``I could see the tears in her eyes.'' (Emily Adams, Slain Officers'' Parents Tell of Pain, L.A. Times, June 1, 1995, at 1.)
It bears mention that all of the criminals responsible for the murders described here were convicted of capital offenses, and will be subject to the expedited federal review provisions in section 6 of LEOPA once they complete their State appeals.
Section 6 of the bill is named for Dr. John B. Jamison, a Coconino County, AZ, Reserve Sheriffs Deputy who was murdered while responding to a fellow deputy's call for assistance on September 6, 1982. The killer fired 30 rounds from an assault rifle into Dr. Jamison's car, killing the deputy before he could reach his gun or even unbuckle his seatbelt. Dr. Jamison was survived by his 13-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. State courts completed their review of the killer's conviction and sentence in 1985. Federal courts then delayed the case for an additional 15 years. One judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit even tried to postpone the killer's final execution date on the alleged basis that the killer was wrongfully denied state funds to investigate a rare neurological condition that his lawyer had learned of while watching television. Dr. Jamison's killer ultimately was executed in 2000--18 years after the crime occurred, and 15 years after federal habeas-corpus proceedings began.
Section 6 is designed to prevent these kinds of delays in Federal review of cases involving state convictions for the murder of a public-safety officer. In the district court, parties will be required to move for an evidentiary hearing within 90 days of the completion of briefing, the court must act on the motion within 30 days, and the hearing must begin 60 days later and last no longer than 3 months. All district-court review must be completed within 15 months of the completion of briefing. In the court of appeals, the court must complete review within 120 days of the completion of briefing. In most cases, these limits will ensure that federal review of a defendant's appeal is completed within less than 2 years. This section also makes these deadlines practical and enforceable by limiting federal review to those claims presenting meaningful evidence that the defendant did not commit the crime--defendants would be barred from re-litigating claims unrelated to guilt or innocence. (Defendants still will be permitted to litigate all their legal claims in state court on direct review and state-habeas review, and in petitions for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.)
The need for this provision is particularly stark in the judicial circuit that includes my home state of Arizona. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's pattern of blocking capital punishment for all murderers--including those who kill police officers--is well documented. A recent committee report of the U.S. Senate, for example, notes that: ``Data for the last ten years show that outside of the Ninth Circuit, usually 70 to 80 percent of death sentences are affirmed by a [federal] Court of Appeals on collateral review. In almost every year, however, the Ninth Circuit has reversed the majority of death sentences that it reviews. Moreover, this percentage has climbed sharply in recent years ..... In the last three years, the Ninth Circuit has reversed 88 percent, 80 percent, and 86 percent of the death sentences that it has reviewed.'' (S. Rep. No. 107-315 (2002), at 72-73) The Senate report also notes that a core group of Ninth Circuit judges vote to reverse virtually every death sentence that they review. Judge Stephen Reinhardt, for example, had reviewed 31 death sentences by 2002, and voted to reverse every single one. Other Ninth Circuit judges have similar records.
As Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski has noted, ``there are those of my colleagues who have never voted to uphold a death sentence and doubtless never wil1.'' He continued: ``Refusing to enforce a valid law is a violation of the judges' oath--something that most judges consider a shameful breach of duty. ..... [But] to slow down the pace of executions by finding fault with every death sentence is considered by some to be highly honorable.'' (Alex Kozinski, Tinkering with Death, The New Yorker, Feb. 10, 1997, at 48-53)
This pattern of behavior extends to the Ninth Circuit's review of death sentences imposed for the murder of police officers. In the nine States under the Ninth Circuit's jurisdiction, 34 criminals have been sentenced to death for murdering police officers since the late 1970's. Only one--the man who killed Dr. Jamison--has ever been executed. The Ninth Circuit consistently has obstructed all other death sentences for criminals convicted of murdering police officers in the western States.
As one Orange County newspaper columnist notes, these numbers reflect poorly on our society's commitment to ensuring justice for slain police officers and their families:
When California voters reinstated the death penalty in 1978, they made killing an on-duty peace officer one of the ``special circumstances'' that could subject the killer to execution. The idea behind that was simple enough. If you made killing a cop a death-penalty offense, maybe it would make criminals think twice before doing it. ..... But it's doubtful that the special circumstance concerning peace officers strikes any fear into the heart of a would-be cop-killer. Because in the 24 years since the new death-penalty law was passed, not one cop-killer has been executed in California. During that time, more than 200 California peace officers have been murdered in the line of duty, including eight in Orange County, and dozens of cop-killers have been sent to death row. But not one has died for his crime. True, California hasn't been in any hurry to execute other murderers, either. Since 1978, more than 700 killers have been sent to death row, but only 10 have been executed. But the justice system seems particularly reluctant to actually enforce the death penalty against cop-killers. ``That sends a terrible message,'' says Marianne Wrede of Anaheim Hills, whose son, West Covina Police Officer Kenneth Wrede, was murdered in 1983. ``It says the justice system doesn't respect the sacrifices of police officers and their families.'' (Gordon Dillow, State Balks at Executing Cop-Killers, The Orange County Reg., Dec. 5, 2002)
These unconscionable delays have greatly increased the suffering experienced by the surviving families of murdered police officers. Again, a few examples from recent news stories illustrate the nature of the problems created by the current system of decades-long post-conviction review:
On August 31, 1983, West Covina Police Officer Kenneth Wrede, 26 years old, responded to a call about a man behaving strangely in a residential neighborhood. Wrede confronted the man, who became abusive and tried to hit Wrede with an 8-foot tree spike. Wrede could have shot the man, but instead attempted to defuse the situation. The man then reached into Wrede's car and ripped the shotgun and rack from the dashboard. Wrede drew his gun and persuaded the man to lay down the shotgun, but the man picked it up again when Wrede lowered his revolver and shot Wrede in the head, killing him instantly.
Years later, Wrede's parents described the terrible impact of this crime on their family. Marianne Wrede told of how ``a half hour before local television newscasts would broadcast the story, her doorbell rang. On the steps stood her son's commander and a police lieutenant. Between them stood Kenneth Wrede's distraught wife. `I knew it was bad news,' Marianne Wrede said. `I shut the door in their faces and I said, `It can't be my boy.' '' (Laura-Lynne Powell, Grief Unites Kin of Fallen Officers, The Orange County Reg., June 20,1991, at EO1) Many years after the crime, she reflected that ``every day I miss my son and it never goes away.'' (Anne C. Mulkern & Tiffany Montgomery, Caring Counts in Line of Duty, The Orange County Reg., Sept. 25, 1996, at BO1) Ken Wrede's father also described the impact of the loss of his son. ``My life will never be the same. I deal with it every day; when I hear a police siren and immediately think of my son, when I pull up next to a police car and think that that could have been him. I still stop as often as I can and tell the officers to have a good day and be careful.'' (David Haldane & Michael Wagner, For Some, a Reminder of Past Tragedy, L.A. Times, July 15, 1996, at A3)
Officer Wrede's killer was sentenced to death in 1984, and that conviction was affirmed by the California Supreme Court in 1989. Then in 2000--17 years after Ken Wrede's murder--a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit reversed the killer's death sentence. The Ninth Circuit found that the killer's lawyer provided ineffective assistance of counsel at the penalty phase because he did not present additional evidence of the killer's abusive childhood and drug use.
At the time, Marianne Wrede noted, ``We thought we finally were close to getting this behind us. And now this.'' (Gordon Dillow, Long Wait for Justice Gets Worse, The Orange County Reg., May 11, 2000, at BO1) A California Deputy Attorney General denounced the decision, stating that ``it can always be suggested a jury should have heard something else in the penalty phase of a death penalty case.'' (Richard Winston, Reversal of Death Penalty in Officer's Killing Decried Courts, L.A. Times, May 10, 2000, at B3) West Covina Corporal Robert Tibbets, the original investigator at the scene of Wrede's murder, described the Ninth Circuit's decision as a ``miscarriage of justice.'' (Id.) He had promised Wrede's parents that he would accompany them to every court hearing for their son's killer. He made good on his promise, even 19 years later, when the killer was retried and again sentenced to death in 2002. But the Wredes now face another round of state and then federal appeals. At the retrial, Ken's father noted that ``my family and 1 had endured 19 years of trial, appeals, delays, causing us to relive the trauma of Kenny's death over and over again.'' The trial judge agreed. He stated, ``It is an obscenity to put anyone through this needlessly for 19 years. It is inexcusable for us in the system that we need to look at this case for 19 years to get it resolved. The system at some point in the line has become clogged and broken.'' (Larry Welborn, 19 Years and no Resolution for Parents, The Orange County Reg., Sept. 21, 2002)
Riverside Police Officers Dennis Doty and Philip Trust were killed by a man whom they attempted to arrest at his home on May 13, 1982. The man was in bed when the officers arrived and they permitted him to dress. The man then pulled out a gun that he had been sitting on and shot and killed both officers. He apparently sought revenge for injuries that he sustained when he was shot while committing a bank robbery. Officer Doty had served a tour of duty in Vietnam, where he had received a purple heart and bronze star. The State supreme court affirmed the killer's conviction and death sentence in 1991.
In 2002, 20 years after the murders, Federal district court reversed the killer's death sentence, finding that he had received ineffective assistance of counsel because he did not trust his lawyers. Local Superior Court judge Edward Webster denounced the decision, declaring that he was ``outraged by the entire federal process.'' He declared that ``this [ decision] is just a product of judges'' personal opinions and philosophies opposing the death penalty.'' (Marlowe Churchill, Riverside Judge Takes Federal Court to Task, The Press-Enterprise, July 22, 1995, at BO1) The Riverside assistant police chief noted that the decision was particularly unfortunate for the officers' families: ``They lived this 20 years ago, and not to have closure on the trial process is particularly difficult'' (Mike Kataoka, Court Annuls Death Decree, The Press Enterprise, May 31, 2002, at BO1)
Los Angeles Police Detective Tom Williams was shot and killed by a man against whom he had testified several hours earlier in a robbery trial on October 31, 1985. Detective Williams was killed while picking up his son at a day-care center. A local newspaper gave the following account of the crime: ``With [his son] Ryan sitting beside him in the front seat of his truck, Williams, 42, saw the man in the ski mask, saw the automatic weapon pointing out of the driver's side window of the passing car. But he was helpless to do anything to protect himself. All he had time to do was scream for Ryan to get down, then cover the boy with his own body.'' (Dennis McCarthy, Youth Feels Need to Serve, L.A. Daily News, Aug. 24, 1993, at Nl) The Los Angeles Times gave the following account of testimony from the killer's trial:
A seventh-grade pupil at a Canoga Park church school testified Wednesday that he saw 6-year-old Ryan Williams sitting on the ground crying moments after the boy's father, a Los Angeles police detective, had been gunned down in the street on Oct. 31,1985. Thomas C. Williams, 42, was picking up Ryan from school at 5:40 p.m. when he was struck by eight bullets from an automatic weapon. The detective died, slumped against the driver's side of his orange pickup truck. ..... [The pupil] said he looked toward Williams' truck, parked in front of the Faith Baptist Church school, and saw the windshield shatter. ``It split into pieces,'' [he] said. ``Then I ducked. I couldn't see anything. I got up because I heard some little boy cry. I walked over. He was sitting on the ground and he was crying and he had a bloody lip.'' (Lynn Steinberg, Boy Tells of Fatal Attack on Detective, L.A. Times, Feb. 11, 1998, at 12)
Detective Williams's killer remains on death row today, 20 years after committing this crime.
Garden Grove police officer Donald Reed was shot and killed while arresting a man at a bar on June 7, 1980. The killer appeared at first to cooperate with police, but then pulled a pistol from his jacket and began firing. One officer who comforted Reed as he lay on the ground describe the scene: ``I could see a sense of panic in Don's eyes. He said, `I am not gonna make it' '' (Daniel Yi, Slain Officer's Family Testifies, L.A. Times, Feb. 9, 2000, at B1)
When Reed died, he had two toddler sons, ages 3 and 1 1/2 . Reed's killer was sentenced to death, but the sentence was reversed on appeal, and he was retried and sentenced to death again in 2000. Reed's sons were 22 and 21 by the time of the retrial. Still coping with the loss of their father, they chose not to attend the second trial. ``I was a mother, a father, I had to teach them everything,'' Reed's widow stated. (Id.) Of her husband, she simply noted, ``He was taken unnecessarily.'' (John McDonald, Officer's Widow Details Trauma, The Orange County Reg., Feb. 9, 2000, at B01) She also described the impact on her family of holding a second trial 20 years after the crime. ``We had all moved on, and then this came back and smacked us in the face. It really just tears you apart.'' (Daniel Yi, Slain Officer's Family Testifies, L.A. Times, Feb. 9, 2000, at B1)
Los Angeles Police Officer Paul Verna was gunned down during a traffic stop on June 2, 1983, by two men who earlier had committed a series of violent robberies. The first man shot Verna from inside the car, and the second then exited the vehicle and shot Verna five more times as he lay on the ground. Verna was survived by his wife and two young sons. Years later, the state supreme court reversed the death sentence of one of the killers. A new trial was held in 2000. At the first trial, Verna's widow described the devastating impact of the crime on her family. She spoke of how ``no one who has not done it can know how difficult it is to tell two young boys that the daddy they loved so much is gone.'' (Janet Rae-Dupree, 2 Sentenced to Die for Killing Policeman, L.A. Times, Sept. 21, 1985, at 6) A local newspaper gave the following accounts of the sentencing retrial:
Vema's sons were young boys, 4 and 9, when he was murdered. This past week, they testified as young men. They told the jury that they did not have a lot of first-hand recollection of their dad. They did have the memories of stories from their mom and many others as to what their dad was like. Ryan [the younger son] spoke of sometimes feeling uneasy at being told how much he looked like and even acted like his dad, whom he does not remember. Sandy, Verna's widow, spoke of the challenge of properly raising two very young boys alone. (Jim Tatreau, Who Was Paul Verna? Murdered Officer Deeply Missed Hero, L.A. Daily News, Oct. 22, 2000, at V3)
``At age 33, to be a widow--my roles in life completely changed. The very hardest part was when they were very young kids--when Ryan, who was 4 years old when his father died, would get hurt and would cry to his mother at bedtime, `Mommy, I just want my daddy.' I couldn't give that to him, no matter how hard I tried. I could do everything else, but I couldn't give him his daddy.'' (Jason Kandel, Retrial Brings Victim's Family to Tears, L.A. Daily News, Sept. 27, 2000, at N4)
[Ryan] has only vague memories of his father's death, and then he could know his father only through various police memorials, plaques and family pictures. He has learned most of the details of the death from three weeks of testimony during the penalty retrial, and his killer's image won't disappear. ``My father didn't deserve to die in that manner, especially what was said to him and the gun being thrown on him when he's lying on the ground,'' he said in tears. ``My father wasn't around for a lot of things, a lot of special things in my life.'' (Id.)
Our society must do everything that it can to deter these types of crimes to ensure that punishment for those who commit them is swift and certain. For all of these reasons, I urge my colleagues to support the Law-Enforcement Officers' Protection Act.
Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I rise today with my colleague, Senator CORNYN of Texas, to introduce the ``DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005.'' This act will allow State and Federal law enforcement to catch rapists, murderers, and other violent criminals whom it otherwise would be impossible to identify and arrest.
The principal provisions of the DNA Fingerprint Act make it easier to include and keep the DNA profiles of criminal arrestees in the National DNA Index System, where that profile can be compared to crime-scene evidence. By removing current barriers to maintaining data from criminal arrestees, the act will allow the creation of a comprehensive, robust database that will make it possible to catch serial rapists and murderers before they commit more crimes.
The impact this act will have on preventing rape and other violent crimes is not merely speculative. We know from real life examples that an all-arrestee database can prevent many future offenses. In March of this year, the city of Chicago produced a case study of eight serial killers in that city who would have been caught after their first offense--rather than after their fourth or tenth--if an all-arrestee database had been in place. This study is included in the record at the conclusion of my remarks.
The first example that the Chicago study cites involves serial rapist and murderer Andre Crawford. In March 1993, Crawford was arrested for felony theft. Under the DNA Fingerprint Act, the state of Illinois would have been able to take a DNA sample from Crawford at that time and upload and keep that sample in NDIS, the national DNA database. But at that time--and still today--Federal law makes it difficult to upload an arrestee's profiles to NDIS, and bars States from keeping that profile in NDIS if the arrestee is not later convicted of a criminal offense. As a result, Crawford's DNA profile was not collected and it was not added to NDIS. And as a result, when Crawford murdered a 37-year-old woman on September 21, 1993, although DNA evidence was recovered from the crime scene, Crawford could not be identified as the perpetrator. And as a result, Crawford went on to commit many more rapes and murders.
On December 21, 1994, a 24-year-old woman was found murdered in an abandoned building on the 800 block of West 50th place in Chicago. DNA evidence was recovered. That DNA evidence identifies Crawford as the perpetrator. If the DNA Fingerprint Act had been law, and Crawford's profile had been collected after his March 1993 arrest, he would have been identified as the perpetrator of the September 1993 murder, and this December 1994 murder could have been prevented.
On April 3, 1995, a 36-year-old woman was found murdered in an abandoned house on the 5000 block of South Carpenter Street in Chicago. DNA evidence was recovered. That DNA evidence identifies Crawford as the perpetrator. If the DNA Fingerprint Act had been law, and Crawford's profile had been collected after his March 1993 arrest, he would have been identified as the perpetrator of the two earlier murders that he had committed, and this April 1995 muurder could have been prevented.
On July 23, 1997, a 27-year-old woman was found murdered in a closet of an abandoned house on the 900 block of West 51st Street in Chicago. DNA evidence was recovered. That DNA evidence identifies Crawford as the perpetrator. If the DNA Fingerprint Act had been law, and Crawford's profile had been collected after his March 1993 arrest, he would have been identified as the perpetrator of the three earlier murders that he had committed, and this July 1997 murder could have been prevented.
On December 27, 1997, a 42-year-old woman was raped in Chicago. As she walked down the street, a man approached her from behind, put a knife to her head, dragged her into an abandoned building on the 5100 block of South Peoria Street, and beat and raped her. DNA evidence was recovered. That DNA evidence identifies Crawford as the perpetrator. If the DNA Fingerprint Act had been law, and Crawford's profile had been collected after his March 1993 arrest, he would have been identified as the perpetrator of the four earlier murders that he had committed, and this December 1997 rape could have been prevented.
In June 1998, a 31-year-old woman was found murdered in an abandoned building on the 5000 block of South May Street in Chicago. DNA evidence was recovered. That DNA evidence identifies Crawford as the perpetrator. If the DNA Fingerprint Act had been law, and Crawford's profile had been collected after his March 1993 arrest, he would have been identified as the perpetrator of the four earlier murders and one rape that he had committed, and this June 1998 murder could have been prevented.
On August 13, 1998, a 44-year-old woman was found murdered in an abandoned house on the 900 block of West 52nd Street. Her clothes were found in the alley. DNA evidence was recovered. That DNA evidence identifies Crawford as the perpetrator. If the DNA Fingerprint Act had been law, and Crawford's profile had been collected after his March 1993 arrest, he would have been identified as the perpetrator of the five earlier murders and one rape that he had committed, and this August 1998 murder could have been prevented.
Also on August 13, 1998, a 32-year-old woman was found murdered in the attic of a house on the 5200 block of South Marshfield. Her body was decomposed, but DNA evidence was recovered. That DNA evidence identifies Crawford as the perpetrator. If the DNA Fingerprint Act had been law, and Crawford's profile had been collected after his March 1993 arrest, he would have been identified as the perpetrator of the six earlier murders and one rape that he had committed, and this additional murder could have been prevented.
On December 8, 1998, a 35-year-old woman was found murdered in a building on the 1200 block of West 52nd Street. She had rope marks around her neck and injuries to her face. DNA evidence was recovered. That DNA evidence identifies Crawford as the perpetrator. If the DNA Fingerprint Act had been law, and Crawford's profile had been collected after his March 1993 arrest, he would have been identified as the perpetrator of the seven earlier murders and one rape that he had committed, and this December 1998 murder could have been prevented.
On February 2, 1999, a 35-year-old woman was found murdered on the 1300 block of West 51st Street. DNA evidence was recovered. That DNA evidence identifies Crawford as the perpetrator. If the DNA Fingerprint Act had been law, and Crawford's profile had been collected after his March 1993 arrest, he would have been identified as the perpetrator of the eight earlier murders and one rape that he had committed, and this February 1999 murder could have been prevented.
On April 21, 1999, a 44-year-old woman was found murdered in the upstairs of an abandoned house on the 5000 block of South Justine Street. DNA evidence was recovered. That DNA evidence identifies Crawford as the perpetrator. If the DNA Fingerprint Act had been law, and Crawford's profile had been collected after his March 1993 arrest, he would have been identified as the perpetrator of the nine earlier murders and one rape that he had committed, and this April 1999 murder could have been prevented.
And on June 20, 1999, a 41-year-old woman was found murdered in the attic of an abandoned building on the 1500 block of West 51st Street. DNA evidence was recovered from blood on a nearby wall, indicating a struggle. That DNA evidence identifies Crawford as the perpetrator. If the DNA Fingerprint Act had been law, and Crawford's profile had been collected after his March 1993 arrest, he would have been identified as the perpetrator of the ten earlier murders and one rape that he had committed, and this additional murder could have been prevented.
As the city of Chicago case study concludes:
In January 2000, Andre Crawford was charged with 11 murders and 1 Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault. If his DNA sample had been taken on March 6, 1993, the subsequent 10 murders and 1 rape would not have happened.
The city of Chicago study goes on to discuss the cases of 7 other serial rapists and murders from that city. Collectively, together with Andre Crawford, these 8 serial rapists and killers represent 22 murders and 30 rapes that could have been prevented had an all-arrestee database been in place.
The DNA Fingerprint Act eliminates current federal statutory restrictions that prevent states from adding and keeping arresttee profiles in NDIS. In effect, the Act would make it possible to build a comprehensive, robust national all-arrestee DNA database.
Here is how the DNA Fingerprint Act works: First, under current Federal law, a DNA profile from an arrestee cannot be uploaded to NDIS until the arrestee is charged in an indictment or information. Thus today, even an arrestee charged in a pleading cannot have his DNA uploaded to the national index. The act eliminates this restriction, allowing arrestees to be included as soon as they are arrested. It also eliminates a statutory restriction that bars inclusion of profiles from suspects who provide so-called ``exoneration'' samples. The act recognizes that criminal suspects have no legitimate interest in evading identification for crimes that they have committed.
Second, the act requires an arrestee to take the initiative to opt out of NDIS if charges against him have been dismissed or he has been acquitted, and he does not want his DNA profile compared to future crime scene evidence. Current law places the burden of determining who may be removed from the index on the administrator of the DNA database, thus requiring the administrator to track the progress of individual criminal cases. This bureaucratic burden discourages states from creating and maintaining comprehensive, all-arrestee DNA databases. It also effectively precludes the creation of a genuine national all-arrestee database. In effect, only convicts' DNA profiles can be kept in the database over the long term. The act would allow arrestee profiles to be kept in the database as well.
Third, the DNA Fingerprint Act would allow expanded use of CODIS grants. Congress currently appropriates funds for use by states to expand their DNA databases. Current law restricts the use of these grants, however, to only building databases of convicted felons. This bill expands this authorization to allow use of these funds to build a database of all DNA samples collected under lawful authority--including samples taken from arrestees.
Fourth, the DNA Fingerprint Act allows the Federal Government to take and keep DNA samples from arrestees. The act gives the Attorney-General the authority to develop regulations allowing collection of DNA profiles from federal arrestees or detainees. The authority to issue such regulations would give the Attorney General the flexibility needed to respond to new legal developments and changes in technology.
And finally, the act tolls the statute of limitations for Federal sex offenses. Current law generally tolls the statute of limitations for felony cases in which the perpetrator is implicated in the offense through DNA testing. The one exception to this tolling is the sexual-abuse offenses in chapter 109A of title 18. When Congress adopted general tolling, it left out chapter 109A, apparently because those crimes already are subject to the use of ``John Doe'' indictments to charge unidentified perpetrators. The Justice Department has made clear, however, that John Doe indictments are ``not an adequate substitute for the applicability of [tolling].'' The Department has criticized the exception in current law as ``work[ing] against the effective prosecution of rapes and other serious sexual assaults under chapter 109A,'' noting that it makes ``the statute of limitation rules for such offenses more restrictive than those for all other Federal offenses in cases involving DNA identification.'' The DNA Fingerprint Act corrects this anomaly by allowing tolling for chapter 109A offenses.
Further evidence of the potential effectiveness of a comprehensive, robust DNA database is available from the recent experience of Great Britain. The British have taken the lead in using DNA to solve crimes, creating a database that now includes 2,000,000 profiles. Their database has now reached the critical mass where it is big enough to serve as a highly effective tool for solving crimes. In the U.K., DNA from crime scenes produces a match to the DNA database in 40 percent of all cases. This amounted to 58,176 cold hits in the United Kingdom 2001. (See generally ``The Application of DNA Technology in England and Wales,'' a study commissioned
by the National Institute of Justice.) A broad DNA database works. The same tool should be made available in the United States.
Some critics of DNA databasing argue that a comprehensive database would violate criminal suspects' privacy rights. This is simply untrue. The sample of DNA that is kept in NDIS is what is called ``junk DNA''--it is impossible to determine anything medically sensitive from this DNA. For example, this DNA does not allow the tester to determine if the donor is susceptible to particular diseases. The Justice Department addressed this issue in its statement of views on S. 1700, a DNA bill that was introduced in the 108th Congress:
[T]here [are no] legitimate privacy concerns that require the retention or expansion of these [burdensome expungement provisions]. The DNA identification system is already subject to strict privacy rules, which generally limit the use of DNA samples and DNA profiles in the system to law enforcement identification purposes. See 42 U.S.C. 14132(b)-(c). Moreover, the DNA profiles that are maintained in the national index relate to 13 DNA sites that do not control any traits or characteristics of individuals. Hence, the databased information cannot be used to discern, for example, anything about an individual's genetic illnesses, disorders, or dispositions. Rather, by design, the information the system retains in the databased DNA profiles is the equivalent of a ``genetic fingerprint'' that uniquely identifies an individual, but does not disclose other facts about him.
Elsewhere in its Views Letter, the Justice Department also explained why the restrictive expungement provisions in current law are unnecessary and contrary to sound public policy. The letter noted that the FBI maintains a database of fingerprints of arrestees--without regard to whether the arrestee later was acquitted or convicted. The letter states, ``With respect to the ..... exclusion of DNA profiles of unindicted arrestees, it should be noted by way of comparison that there is no Federal policy that bars States from including fingerprints of arrestees in State and Federal law enforcement databases prior to indictment.'' The Justice Department also pointed out that ``[t]here is no reason to have a ..... Federal policy mandating expungement for DNA information. If the person whose DNA it is does not commit other crimes, then the information simply remains in a secure database and there is no adverse effect on his life. But if he commits a murder, rape, or other serious crime, and DNA matching can identify him as the perpetrator, then it is good that the information was retained.''
From the Chicago study--which examines the experience of just one American city over recent years--we know that an all-arrestee database can and inevitably will make the critical difference in solving and preventing violent sex offenses. From the British experience, we know that a comprehensive database can be a highly effective tool in solving crimes. And we know that DNA databasing does not violate the right to privacy. I urge the Congress to enact the DNA Fingerprint Act--before another preventable sex crime occurs.
I ask unanimous consent that the text of the Chicago study be printed in the RECORD.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT