May 02, 2019

DNA Backlog Program Legislation Clears Senate Judiciary Committee

Senator Crapo voted in favor of the Debbie Smith Act, which would help local law enforcement agencies and forensic labs analyze backlogged evidence, particularly in rape kits.

Washington, D.C. – The Senate Judiciary Committee today voted to report the Debbie Smith Act, S. 820, to the full Senate for its consideration.  U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), a member of the committee, supports the bill as a co-sponsor, and voted today to advance its consideration. 

“Ensuring adequate resources are in place to support prompt and thorough forensic investigations to bring perpetrators of crime to justice remains a critical component of obtaining justice for crime victims and stopping criminals from their ability to act again,” said Senator Crapo.  “The Debbie Smith Act provides the needed resources to state and local law enforcement agencies and forensic labs to complete forensic analyses of crime scenes and untested rape kits, including processes of rape kits by Idaho State Police.  I urge the Senate to take up this legislation as soon as possible to provide timely justice and prevent violent crime.” 

S. 820 would reauthorize the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program credited with empowering state and local crime laboratories to process hundreds of thousands of cases and uploading DNA profiles in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s DNA database.  Since 2005, the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program has enabled state and local crime laboratories to process more than 860,000 cases and upload over 376,000 DNA profiles to the Combined DNA Index System, which accounts for 43 percent of all forensic profiles in the system. 

The legislation now goes to the full Senate for consideration.  Senator Crapo remains a strong advocate for continued focus on the impact of crime on individuals, families and communities and any needed steps to improve crime response and recovery. 

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