Natasha’s Justice Project celebrates today, April 25, 2013 as National DNA Day commemorating the discovery of the DNA double helix and subsequent scientific advancements. With April being National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the week of April 21 National Crime Victim’s Rights Week, this day is dedicated to recognizing the incredible impact of DNA evidence on protecting and advancing public safety.
DNA evidence and the national Combined DNA Database System (CODIS) is important to:
- Whose rape kits were matched to offenders on the CODIS database – identifying their rapist(s)
- Reporting that they rest at ease knowing the system worked
- Identifying the perpetrator quickly and accurately – reducing time and resources to investigations
- DNA evidence leads the investigation – verses a full investigation of the crime which is time consuming and costly
- DNA evidence is 5 times more likely to result in suspect identification verses fingerprints
- Defendants accept harsher pleas when faced with DNA evidence than without it
- In Denver, the District Attorney found using DNA in burglary cases resulted in:
- An average 14 year prison term compared to a 1-4 year jail term without DNA
General Public Safety:
- In 2010 federal and state governments spent $30.5 million adding 761,609 offender profiles to the CODIS databases and at the same time SAVED $21 billion by preventing new crimes
- Annual savings to Denver citizens was estimated at more than $29 million (or a $90 return on investment for every $1 spent)
- Post conviction DNA tests have exonerated more than 300 wrongfully convicted individuals – many of whom were not fully exonerated until after a DNA match was made to another offender.
Natasha’s Justice Project is dedicated to eliminating the nation’s rape kit backlog whereby DNA evidence is used to identify and punish rapists and allow survivors the justice they deserve. Help us eliminate the nation’s rape kit backlog by making a donation today. Click here to donate.