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Public Statements

Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. TIPTON. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the gentleman from Texas for this time.

I think it's important for us to understand the importance of this legislation and the opportunity that this literally presents for the protection of our wives and our daughters across this Nation.

I visited with Jayann Sepich. Her daughter Katie literally had to fight for her life. And the only evidence after her body was discovered, raped and burned in a garbage dump, was the DNA collected under those fingernails. While we now have the empirical evidence, had Katie's law been in place at that time, we could have saved an additional 13 lives: 12 women who were raped and murdered and another who was pregnant with child. That is the importance, and the timeliness, as well, of moving forward with this legislation.

In the State of Colorado, we've taken perpetrators off the streets. In fact, one of the challenges that we often don't discuss is not just future events that could potentially happen, but bringing resolution to families who have lost a loved one: solving cold cases. In the State of Colorado, we've now had 398 people identified for past crimes, those unsolved murders that haunt families.

This is a piece of legislation that's revenue neutral for Americans, a piece of legislation that's going to provide that opportunity for other States to do what Colorado has been able to accomplish, to be able to pass legislation that is going to stand up and protect our daughters and our wives from violent predators who are impacting families across this country.

The time is now. It is of essence. We are approaching the 10th anniversary of the death of Katie Sepich. I would see no greater tribute to her, her mother and father, and all families across this country, than to put forward this legislation, allow it to pass, to move forward, and to be able to do the right thing.

This legislation is designed so well that when we look at those identifiers, it is the 21st century fingerprint. We cannot tell the color of skin, and we cannot tell the color of hair. It is just an identifier for who the person is. It's well thought out, and it's important. I believe our daughters, our wives, and our mothers count on this type of practical legislation. I urge its adoption.

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