Alaskan law enforcement is required by law to collect DNA samples from all people charged with a crime against another person or a felony. However, this hasn’t happened in thousands of cases over the past 25 years. In fact, more than 21,000 DNA samples are missing from crimes.
Determined to reduce the rate of sexual assaults and other violent crimes, Alaskan Governor Mike Dunleavy announced that law enforcement will collect the missing data and begin correctly obtaining new data.
“Government has an obligation to follow the law,” he said. “And regardless of the many reasons that these DNA collections were missed, we are focused on making our … state a safer place to live.”
Dunleavy rightly pointed out that it’s not fair to the victims for their cases to be dropped or not receive a resolution in a timely manner.
“We want to get the kits processed timely, we want to get back to victims timely and we want to collect this DNA to help us solve those crimes,” he said.
This is an overwhelming amount of data to collect, so Alaskan law enforcement will start with those convicted of violent and sex crimes, which is about 600 people. It’s admirable that the state is seeking to hold its criminals accountable.
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