MALONEY LAUDS DECISION BY ASHCROFT TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR DNA BACKLOG
Washington, DC - Today, after Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that the Department of Justice will commit $1 billion over the next five years to improving DNA testing in criminal cases, including $176 million in fiscal year 2004, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) released the following statement:
"I am pleased that the Administration has finally made it a high priority to use DNA evidence to put rapists and murderers in prison," Congresswoman Maloney said. "The announcement of $1 billion over the next five years to improve DNA testing is an important step. However, funding alone is not enough. We also need to set standards for collection, and to devote funding to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs. These provisions and more are found in 'The Debbie Smith Act,' introduced by myself, Representative Mark Green (R-WI), and Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY). Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) have introduced this legislation in the Senate. I am hopeful that with the Administration's commitment to finding justice for survivors of sexual assault and rape, we will pass this critical legislation in both the House of Representatives and the Senate in this session."