Linswritings

“Katie’s Law” is successful in DNA identification

Posted on: February 16, 2011

You may not have heard about this law, “Katie’s Law”, but in Colorado the state legislator passed this law that requires adults arrested for felony offenses give a DNA sample via a swab wiped inside the cheek. The law was named after a 23-year-old woman who was killed in New Mexico in 2003.

In the first four months since the law took effect, DNA samples have identified suspects in nine sex assault cases, 15 burglary cases, two robberies and 14 other property crimes. As a result at least suspects in 40 other cases have been identified.

Law enforcement officials started to collect the swabs in September 2010. They have collected 15,404 swap samples. So far 9,912 samples have been processed. The samples go into a DNA profile database known as CODIS where they are compared against DNA evidence from crime scenes. A total of 40 CODIS hits or matches have been found.

While only 40 cases may seem a small amount, at least this is a beginning to help solve crimes and get the bad guys in jail. What makes this process even better is the cost involved which is passed on to the bad guys. The cost of the Katie’s Law DNA testing materials and processing in Colorado is paid by a $2.50 surcharge assessed against those found guilty of most offenses, including traffic infractions.

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