The Debbie Smith Act of 2023 (H.R. 1105, S. 499) reauthorizes programs and funding for five years to assist law enforcement agencies and crime labs nationwide with the resources needed to help improve DNA collection and analysis, eliminate the rape kit backlog, complete forensic analyses of crime scenes, and enhance state and local prosecutors’ capacity to bring these cases to court. One of the most important methods to identify and prosecute sexual predators is through DNA analysis. State and local law enforcement need the federal government’s resources to efficiently analyze and process DNA evidence from sexual assault, homicide, and rape kits. It is time to put an end to the backlog of untested and unanalyzed DNA evidence and hold perpetrators accountable.
This effort has strong bipartisan support and we urge members of Congress to cosponsor the legislation. Representatives Ann Wagner (R-MO), Wesley Hunt (R-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and Ben Cline (R-VA) have introduced H.R. 1105. The companion bill, S. 499, has been introduced in the Senate by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).