Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) on Monday hailed the bipartisan support of a bill that would award grants to states that start programs to collect DNA samples of people arrested on suspicion of violent felonies.
The legislation, which is headed to President Obama’s desk after passing the Senate on Monday, bears the name of Katie Sepich, a college student who was raped and murdered in 2003 in New Mexico. Her attacker was arrested several times over the next few years but was never linked to Sepich’s murder because his DNA was not collected until 2006.
“[This measure] is an important step that will save lives,” Schiff said in a statement. “Every improvement we make to our DNA system means that more violent crimes solved and more violent felons taken of the street.”
The Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act of 2012, also known as Katie’s Law, establishes a program to provide grants to states that implement DNA collection programs for people arrested on suspicion of murder, sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary or aggravated assault.