Opinion - Collection of DNA Samples Crucial to Solving Crimes, Exonerating Innocent

By Assemblymember Jim Cooper | April 27, 2018 |  

Special to Elk Grove News   

I am a proud proponent of the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act. As witnessed with this week's arrest of the East Side Rapist, DNA assisted law enforcement in apprehending one of California’s most heinous criminals. It is indisputable that DNA evidence is an essential tool for law enforcement to convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent.

According to a United States Department of Justice study, 92-percent of violent crimes (rape, murder, and robbery) committed were linked to lesser non-serious or non-violent drug and theft crimes.

In 2015, I authored Assembly Bill 390 to fix the unintended consequences of Prop 47. The bill would have allowed the collection of DNA upon conviction of seven crimes that were previously felonies but are now misdemeanors. The bill passed the Assembly on a 64-2 bipartisan vote, only to die in the Senate’s Public Safety Committee. One year later, I authored Assembly Bill 16, the same language as AB 390. The bill was held in the Assembly’s Public Safety committee without receiving a vote.

Additionally, I have tried passing legislation to protect consumers and combat the surge of serial retail theft on our small businesses and grocery stores since the passage of Proposition 47. Those attempts also died in committee.

If you believe that repeat serial thieves who flaunt recent reforms deserve to be held accountable; If you believe that greater access to DNA evidence will help solve rapes and murders, as we saw this week with finally capturing the East Area Rapist; and if you believe convicted perpetrators of domestic violence, rape of an unconscious person, sex trafficking of a child, and drive-by shootings should be ineligible for early release from prison; then you will support the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act.”

Jim Cooper represents California's 9th Assembly District which includes all of Elk Grove, Galt, and portions of Sacramento and Lodi and unincorporated areas of Sacramento and San Joaquin counties. Prior to his 2014 election to the Assembly, Cooper served for 14 years on the Elk Grove City Council and retired as a Captain with Sacramento County Sheriff's Department after a 30-year career.

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

Jim Cooper deserves to be re-elected because he was a cop and I saw him on TV when they announced the arrest of the East Area rapist.

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