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Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from California (Mr. Schiff) for sponsoring this commonsense, bipartisan legislation. H.R. 6014, the Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act, authorizes incentive grants to States that implement programs to collect DNA samples from felony arrestees.

DNA arrestee programs provide an important law enforcement tool to identify perpetrators of open and unsolved cases. DNA arrestee programs can also prevent crimes by linking career criminals to crimes and locking them up before they have the chance to strike again.

By collecting DNA samples from arrestees and uploading them into the national DNA database, States can empower police and prosecutors to not only solve cold cases but also to apprehend violent criminals before more innocent people are victimized or precious lives are lost. Similar legislation passed the House last Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 357-32.

H.R. 6014 adds a new purpose area to the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act to fund State DNA arrestee programs. This is limited, cost-effective legislation that will help States make use of DNA evidence to catch serious criminals at the earliest stage possible.

In the 20th century, law enforcement used fingerprints to link criminals to unsolved crimes. In the 21st century, law enforcement can now use DNA fingerprint technology to apprehend dangerous offenders.

I want to thank my colleague from California, again, Mr. Schiff, for his hard work on this issue. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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