Senate Bill Could Make DNA Database More Accessible

March 18 2009, 9:50 AM

Jayann Sepich recently told reporters she was "stunned" when she learned that it was illegal to search a national database of DNA collected from convicted felons to perhaps find the person who murdered and raped her daughter, Katie, in Las Cruces, New Mexico, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Since then she's been campaigning for "Katie's Law," or Colorado Senate Bill 241, which would allow Colorado to join 16 other states in authorizing DNA dragnets. The idea leaves civil libertarians and others wary, including the editorial board at The Denver Post, which opines that the bill places too great a burden on the accused. Whatever the fate of the bill, the debate will probably keep simmering, as Slate indicates in a related article that features Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, a fan of expanding the idea to search family members after seeing how the technology was used to solve crime in Britain. Morrissey has urged the Federal Bureau of Investigation to expand the search capacity of the national Combined DNA Index System.