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Public Statements

Issue Position: Solving Crimes Through Forensic Evidence

Issue Position

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The advent of DNA evidence has transformed law enforcement. As many observers have noted, DNA is really the modern fingerprint, yet even more powerful. However, to use DNA technology to its fullest potential to take criminals off the streets, we need to invest in DNA technology. Effectively utilizing DNA in law enforcement is one of Schiff's top priorities.

Schiff introduced the Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act to incentivize states, like California, that collect DNA samples upon arrest for certain violent felonies. The legislation is named for a young woman from New Mexico who was brutally murdered. Her assailant escaped arrest for many years despite repeated arrests because none of the arrests resulted in a conviction. It was only several years later that he was convicted and a match was found to evidence collected from the crime scene where Katie was murdered. Although he was ultimately convicted of the crime, he could have been caught far earlier if law enforcement had taken a DNA sample and run it against open cases first. Katie's Law would give states an incentive to invest in DNA collection, helping to solve crimes and prevent future ones. Schiff was a cosponsor of similar legislation in the 111th Congress, which passed the House in 2010.


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