DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers praised Gov. Bill Ritter’s decision to sign Senate Bill 241, commonly called Katie’s Law, today, calling it a step forward for public safety in Colorado.
“There was much discussion in the last legislative session about solving cold cases. Katie’s Law undoubtedly will give Colorado law enforcement an important tool to solve these cases,” Suthers said. “The DNA database the Colorado Bureau of Investigation will build under Katie’s Law promises to help inject new life into cases that have long grown cold.
“Katie’s law does not offer crime victims’ families false hope. This new law will create tangible results. The collection of DNA will be no more intrusive for the arrestees than the taking of fingerprints, and the data will only be used for law enforcement purposes.”
Katie’s Law is named after Katie Sepich, who was brutally raped and murdered at her New Mexico home in August 2003. Had police been allowed to collect a DNA samples from those arrested on suspicion of committing a felony, he would have been caught several months later. He was only charged with Sepich’s murder more than two years later, after his DNA was sampled following his conviction in an unrelated case.
Suthers said Senate Bill 241 balances the need for police to sample and test suspects’ DNA with the rights of those acquitted to have their DNA expunged from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s database.
“Senate Bill 241 struck the proper balance between public safety and civil liberties,” Suthers said. “The bill’s sponsors, Sen. John Morse, Rep. Steve King and Rep. Scott Tipton, should be proud of their efforts this year. They have given law enforcement an important tool to keep Colorado safe.”