Governor Susana Martinez released the following statement, praising the U.S.
Supreme Court's decision to uphold DNA collection from those arrested for committing serious crimes. New Mexico's DNA collection law, entitled "Katie's Law," is one of the toughest in the country and is named after Katie Sepich, a New Mexico State University student who was raped and brutally murdered in 2003. Governor Martinez prosecuted Katie's murderer, worked to pass the original version of "Katie's Law" in 2006 while serving as the District Attorney in Dona Ana County, and in 2011, she signed into law an expanded version of "Katie's Law" allowing for DNA collection from those arrested for any felony crime. The Governor submitted an amicus brief in the case of Maryland v. King, supporting DNA collection as a critical law enforcement tool.
"Today's Supreme Court ruling broadly upholds the constitutionality of DNA collection from those who commit serious crimes and establishes a strong legal basis for the specific version of Katie's Law that is on the books in New Mexico. I could not be more pleased with the outcome of this case, and I am honored that New Mexico has been at the forefront of fighting to establish new ways to keep our families safe.
"DNA collection is an important law enforcement tool that helps prevent heinous crimes,
improves the ability of our officers to investigate crimes, and has the capacity to exonerate the innocent.
"We should all express tremendous gratitude for the efforts of Jayann and Dave Sepich and their family. I have been awed by their incredible tenacity, courage, and determination as they have fought in every corner of the United States to enact Katie's Law to help save lives. Today, their mission and work has been given an extraordinary stamp of approval.
"In light of this ruling, it is my hope that even more states will enact Katie's Law in order to better protect their families, prevent crimes and bring justice to victims."