Cornyn, Klobuchar Bill to Help Prosecute Criminals in DNA Cold Cases Signed into Law

The Justice Served Act of 2018 was signed into law by President Trump.  This bill, introduced by Senator Klobuchar and I earlier this year, will provide funds to prosecute cold cases solved by DNA evidence, such as backlogged rape cases and other violent crimes.  It passed the House of Representatives in May, and it passed the Senate last month. 

This law will give prosecutors the tools they need to crack the most difficult unsolved cases and put these heinous criminals behind bars. More importantly, it will bring justice for victims and their families, many of whom have been waiting years, and help ensure perpetrators can’t continue to prey on new victims.

“As a former prosecutor, I know that behind every unprocessed cold case is a victim seeking justice,” said Sen. Klobuchar.  “By signing the Justice Served Act into law, we’ll give prosecutors the support they need to address DNA backlogs and help ensure that criminals are put behind bars, cold cases are put to rest and justice can finally be served.”

Background

The Justice Served Act of 2018 would provide funds for the prosecution of crimes solved through DNA testing. This legislation would strengthen our criminal justice system by:

  • Authorizing funds under the Debbie Smith Act for the prosecution of DNA cold cases;
  • Enhancing prosecutors’ capacity to follow-through on what Congress started through funding the nationwide testing of backlogged DNA evidence, including rape kits;
  • Delivering justice for crime victims who live with the constant fear that their attacker remains at-large and on the streets;
  • Giving families closure after waiting many years for their loved ones’ murderers or attackers to be identified; and
  • Helping exonerate those who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit by identifying and prosecuting the actual offenders.  

This legislation has been endorsed by the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), Debbie Smith, the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA), the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the National Association of Police Organizations, Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations, Joyful Heart Association, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the Major Cities Chiefs, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Criminal Justice Association.  

 

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