Resolution on DNA Testing and Victims’ Rights

Resolution on DNA Testing and Victims’ Rights 

Summary

A Resolution supporting states require that all sexual assault kits collected, where the case meets the criteria for CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) eligibility, are tested for DNA.

Model Resolution

WHEREAS, a primary role of state government is to ensure public safety; and

WHEREAS, the efficient use of DNA technology is paramount to helping law enforcement identify the guilty and to preserving and protecting victims’ rights to justice and due process; and

WHEREAS, victims must go through the invasive and traumatizing process of having a sexual assault kit collected from their body just hours after being attacked; and

WHEREAS, the majority of sexual assault kits collected are not submitted to crime labs for DNA testing and hundreds of thousands of sexual assault kits are believed to be sitting in storage at state and local law enforcement agencies; and

WHEREAS, the sexual assault arrest rate for jurisdictions testing all sexual assault kits for DNA is as high as 70% while the national average arrest for sexual assault is 24%; and

WHEREAS, because sex offenders are usually serial offenders, testing of sexual assault cases when consent is the primary issue still results in generating valuable information to determine whether or not a case is prosecutable by establishing whether or not this same person was involved in other acquaintance sexual assault cases; and

WHEREAS, because sex offenders are usually serial offenders, testing of sexual assault cases when consent is the primary issue may also result in identification of perpetrators in unsolved stranger sexual assault cases; and

WHEREAS, public-private partnerships can be utilized to greatly increase the efficiency of existing spending on DNA testing further and minimize or completely eliminate the incremental cost to test all sexual assault cases; and

WHEREAS, Illinois has become the first state to enact legislation requiring all sexual assault kits be tested and other states and cities are currently modeling legislation based on that bill,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that [insert state here] supports state efforts to pass legislation requiring all sexual assault kits be tested for DNA.

Approved by the ALEC Legislative Board, June 7, 2011.

Keyword Tags: Justice Performance Project Task Force