After a meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder last week, when he was informed that the backlog of offender DNA has finally been eliminated, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) released the following statement:
"I was very pleased to be informed by the Department of Justice that its backlog of offender DNA has finally been eliminated. This is a strong step forward in public safety and greatly enhances our ability to take dangerous people off the street.
"Last week, Long Beach police arrested a suspect in a seven year old rape case that occurred in a high school bathroom. Police had DNA collected from the crime scene and for years knew that if they could ever get a hit linking the crime scene evidence to an offender in the National DNA Index System (NDIS), they would have a strong investigative lead.
"Since 2006, the DNA sample of the man who has now been charged with the rape of a high school girl had been in possession of federal authorities, waiting to be uploaded in the NDIS system. It was only when the Federal Bureau of Investigation finally uploaded the suspect's sample in 2010 that Long Beach police got their hit and made an arrest.
"This case forcefully demonstrates the costs of backlogs in processing and uploading samples collected from convicted and arrested felons. I have been pushing the FBI to speed up the processing of offender samples for years, and have pushed for funding to help them eliminate their backlog.
"I congratulate the FBI on closing the offender backlog and remain committed to ensuring that the agency has sufficient resources to avoid any backlog in the future. Meanwhile, I will continue to explore ways we can better utilize DNA evidence to solve rapes and murders by expanding arrestee testing, the select use of familial DNA, and the establishment of a regional lab in the foothills."