Posted in the El Paso Forum
#1 Nov 21, 2012
["In New Mexico it's called Katie's Law in honor of Katie Sepich, a New Mexico State University student who was raped and killed in 2003. Police didn't find Sepich's killer until he was convicted of a different crime three years later.
Katie's Law was passed in 2007. It allowed the state to collect DNA from anyone arrested for a violent felony crime such as rape or murder. Last year, the state extended the law to suspects arrested for any kind of felony crime.
Katie's mother Jayann Sepich told ABC-7 she's been waiting for the Supreme Court's decision on this for a long time.
"Had it not been for DNA her case would never have been solved. In Katie's case, there were no fingerprints left. There was DNA that she fought so hard and she had the skin and blood of the man that killed her under her fingernails," she said.
Gov. Susana Martinez was the attorney who prosecuted that case, and she was a key player in passing and extending Katie's Law.
"It's very personal. It wasn't just about that case. It was about all New Mexicans, all people who are involved in crimes, that are victims of crime," Martinez told ABC-7.
Now Martinez has filed a brief with the Supreme Court in support of the DNA law. Next year the Supreme Court will make a decision on Maryland v. King, a case from 2009.
Alonzo Jay King Jr. was arrested in 2009 on suspicion of first-degree assault.
The state of Maryland prosecuted and convicted King for the rape. The Maryland Court of Appeals overturned that conviction.
King's attorneys said his Fourth Amendment rights to protection from unreasonable search and seizure were violated.
"Right now, we take fingerprints. We take photographs, height, weight, same thing as DNA. I sit in a chair I leave my DNA there. So to take a swab of your cheek is not intrusive," Martinez said.
Martinez said the law has helped solve 380 cases in the state.
If the Supreme Court rules against it, those cases could be in jeopardy.
Jayann Sepich said she's confident that won't happen, saying the DNA database does not infringe on privacy.
"It's never matched to your name, who you are, your identity, unless it's a direct match to crime scene information. The system's been designed to protect privacy. Once people understand that, once the courts have understood that, they've ruled in favor," she said.
For a mother who found some peace after her daughter's murderer was convicted, this battle is very close to home.
"To us it's not just bringing justice, which is so important to families, but it's also preventing these crimes and saving lives," Sepich said.
The Supreme Court will hear the case next year. Sepich said she and her family will be there to hear the arguments and support the law."]
This law is perfect the was it is and the nasty idiots it has caught should have no recourse to appeal. What should happen is that every facility that houses criminals after conviction or those who are in custody for heinous crimes should have DNA pulled
for comparison. All Felony grade arrests suspects should be required to have DNA taken at the county level.
#2 Nov 21, 2012
I like the 4th Amendment myself. No need to repeal that, no matter how many perverts, predators, liars and thieves are out there. If they want to collect DNA so badly, they should go to the Sunland Park Adult theater. Lots of DNA is sprayed on the floor every single day.
Since: Nov 12
#3 Nov 23, 2012
In my opinion, Katie's law had been very valuable for victims of abusive cases that seemed to be hopeless to solve. Surely it is not easy but if we think about it, just like what AREU4REAL had said, it will prevent other forms of felony from taking place.
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