We don’t have to let people get away with murder, rape and other heinous crimes anymore.  We can identify them and successfully prosecute them with evidence collected at crime scenes and collecting DNA on all felony arrests.

We will save lives, prevent many crimes, protect our children and grandchildren.  We can change our criminal justice system and start to balance the scales of justice.  We will see amazing progress once our new crime lab is up and running. 

Right now, Alaska is way ahead of the rest of the nation in collecting offender DNA samples.  Those DNA profiles are put into the CODIS database within 30 days; but unfortunately until our new crime lab is ready, other crime scene forensic evidence suffers processing delays - sometimes for years.  Law enforcement doesn’t even expect evidence from many crimes to be processed.  Only the worst of the worst are processed.

If our new crime lab was up and running cases would be solved earlier; fewer cases would grow cold.  Evidence from burglaries would be investigated. Did you know that 40% of all burglaries will be connected to someone who has already committed rape or murder?  Evidence from those crimes is not even processed.

In my daughter’s murder case it took 13 years before her killer was identified by a DNA hit from our national DNA database, CODIS.  The man suspected of killing her had left the state and committed many crimes in New Hampshire.  NH arrested and convicted him in February 2003 for armed robbery.  Yet, we would have to wait almost 4 years before his DNA profile was submitted to CODIS.  It is not fair for any victim to have to wait years for answers.  It weakens cases and complicates prosecution, making it incredibly costly and time consuming. 

There are over 10,000 pages of investigation, 105 DNAs taken to rule out suspects, 230 audio taped interviews.  We have had 27 pre-trial hearings; the defendant is on his third public defender and we are on our second judge.  Although the alleged killer was identified November 2006 we still have not gone to trial.  Currently, the date is set for August 30th 2010, but we expect the defense to request yet another delay.  By the end of this case our state will have spent in excess of $1 million.  That’s just one cold case.

I know that, with current technology and current laws, no other parent should have to go through this.  We have the technology, the people; we need to put up the money for our new crime lab so they can do their jobs.  The crime lab is the foundation of our justice system.  It is our moral responsibility to protect the innocent and keep the innocent out of jail.

Failure to fund this crime lab, again, will cost lives and pain.  It will allow killers and rapists to continue roaming our streets and harming others.  More cases will grow cold, costing our state thousands in investigation time, prosecution time and court time.  This new crime lab will be a legacy for years to come.  It will prevent so much pain and sorrow and help reduce our crime rate.  No one should get away with murder, rape or any other heinous crime.  Let’s make Alaska a safer place, a better place for our children and grandchildren.  Let’s fund the new crime lab now.  Call or email your lawmakers today!