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Klobuchar, Cornyn Bill to help prosecute criminals in DNA cold cases signed into law

International Falls Journal Link to Article

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn’s (R-TX) Justice Served Act was signed into law to help prosecute criminals in DNA cold cases, said a news release Thursday.

The bipartisan bill will provide funds to prosecute cold cases using DNA evidence, such as rape kit backlog cases and cases involving other violent crimes.

“As a former prosecutor, I know that behind every unprocessed cold case is a victim seeking justice,” Klobuchar said. “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.”

“This law will give prosecutors the tools they need to crack the most difficult unsolved cases and put these heinous criminals behind bars,” Cornyn said. “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.”

The Justice Served Act will provide funds for the prosecution of crimes solved through DNA testing. This legislation will 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
  • Helping exonerate those who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit by identifying and prosecuting the actual offenders

Klobuchar is a national leader in the fight to prevent domestic violence. In January, Klobuchar and Cornyn’s bipartisan Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting (SAFER) Act with Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) was signed into law.

The SAFER Act reauthorizes, strengthens, and extends the Sexual Assault Forensic Registry program in an effort to help reduce the national rape kit backlog.

The Klobuchar-backed bipartisan Justice for All Reauthorization Act was signed into law in 2016.

The law strengthens the rights of crime victims by providing the protection they need to restore their lives and enhances law enforcement’s ability to proactively stop violent criminals. The Justice for All Reauthorization Act also aims to reduce the rape kit backlog by supporting grant programs that fund forensic testing. Klobuchar has also championed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and led efforts to pass bipartisan legislation supporting survivors of sexual assault in the military.

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