State Representative Larry B. Butler (D-Waterbury) attended a bill signing ceremony at the State Capitol with Governor Dannel P. Malloy for a new law that requires the collection of DNA evidence from convicted felons upon a subsequent felony arrest.
Championed by Rep. Butler and State Rep. Ernest Hewett (D-New London), the legislation was modeled after “Katie’s Law”, in memory of Katie Sepich, a 22-year-old graduate student at New Mexico State University, who was raped, strangled, set on fire and abandoned at a dumpsite near her home in August of 2003. In Katie’s case, after three years, the New Mexico DNA database matched the unknown profile of her perpetrator, who had been convicted of several other crimes.
“This law helps prove the innocent, convict the guilty and will help the unsolved cases that have DNA evidence collected,” said Rep. Butler.
The legislation requires people arrested for any of 39 serious felony offenses to provide a DNA sample before they are released from custody if they had previously been convicted of a felony. Additionally, the information gathered will be added to a federal DNA database.
Rep. Butler is in his 3rd term serving the 72nd House District and is the House Chairman of the Housing Committee.