Supreme Court to hear Katie's Law

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — Tuesday the nation's highest court will hear arguments about whether Katie’s Law is constitutional.

It's a law that requires anyone arrested for a felony to submit a DNA sample.
   
The law originated in New Mexico and state leaders are taking state interests to this fight.

The Supreme Court case is based on a Maryland ruling that said taking a DNA sample without a warrant violated a rape suspect's constitutional rights.
    
The case could determine how police and prosecutors are able to gather and use DNA evidence going forward.
    
Katie's Law was named for New Mexico state student Katie Sepich, who was brutally murdered in 2003
    
Despite DNA evidence, it took three years to find and convict her killer, even though he was arrested for other crimes in the meantime.
    
Since then, New Mexico passed a law requiring anyone arrested for a felony to submit a DNA sample.
    
Governor Susana Martinez has filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that the law and others like it are constitutional.
    
She says Katie’s Law benefits justice.

“It also prevents future crimes because now the judge has the full picture of your criminal history and not just what you did in a snapshot,” Martinez said.
    
Civil rights advocates including the ACLU argue taking DNA without a warrant and without a conviction violates the fourth amendment, the right against unreasonable search and seizure.
    
The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the case tomorrow with a decision expected later this year.

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New Mexico (change)

 
New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.
 
Offices & Officials

Governor: Susana Martinez
Lieutenant Governor: John Sanchez
Attorney General: Gary King
Secretary of State: Dianna J. Durán

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