Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement on the passage of the Justice Served Act of 2018, legislation that she cosponsored to increase the capacity of prosecutors to address the backlog of violent crime cases involving suspects identified through DNA evidence.
“This bill will help victims and families dealing with unsolved crimes finally get the justice and closure they deserve, and exonerate those wrongfully convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. I’m proud to support legislation that provides additional resources to assist state and local law enforcement in better serving our communities.”
The Justice Served Act of 2018 amends the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000 to add, as a purpose area under the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program, increasing the capacity of prosecutors to address the backlog of violent crime cases involving suspects identified through DNA evidence. The Department of Justice (DOJ) must allocate a specified percentage of grant funds for such purpose, subject to limitations.
Additionally, of amounts made available over FY2019-FY2022 for a DNA analysis and capacity enhancement program and for other forensic activities, DOJ must allocate at least 5% for grants to prosecute cold cases involving violent crime, where suspects have been identified through DNA evidence.