Gov. Susana Martinez
SANTA FE ─ Jayann Sepich and Gov. Susana Martinez announced Monday that Katie’s Law has led to the 500th match of DNA data to a criminal case in New Mexico.
The match came as the DNA Administrative Center, located in Albuquerque, compiled their final statistics for the month of August.
The Administrative Center notified Jayann Sepich of the milestone Friday, which was also the 10th Anniversary of her daughter Katie Sepich being laid to rest.
New Mexico’s DNA collection law, entitled “Katie’s Law,” is one of the toughest in the country and is named after Katie Sepich, a New Mexico State University student who was raped and brutally murdered in 2003.
Governor Martinez prosecuted Katie’s murderer, worked to pass the original version of “Katie’s Law” in 2006 while serving as the District Attorney in Dona Ana County, and in 2011, she signed into law an expanded version of “Katie’s Law” allowing for DNA collection from those arrested for any felony crime.
The Governor submitted an amicus brief in the case of Maryland v. King, where the court ultimately supported DNA collection as a critical law enforcement tool.
“Katie said that she wanted to make a difference, and in her own way, she has,” Martinez said. “It’s been 10 years since she was buried, but her legacy is a system of DNA collection and matching, being adopted in states throughout the country and upheld by the United States Supreme Court, that has saved lives, helped convict rapists, murderers, and other criminals, and brought a measure of justice for victims and their families. We should all express tremendous gratitude for the efforts of Jayann and Dave Sepich and their family. I have been awed by their incredible tenacity, courage, and determination as they have fought in every corner of the United States to enact Katie’s Law to help save lives.”