Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) announced today that he has joined Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in introducing the Justice Served Act of 2018, which would provide funds to prosecute the rape kit backlog and justice for victims of heinous crimes like sexual assault by resolving cold cases and exonerating those wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit. 

“Ensuring justice for victims and protecting the public against criminals are among my top priorities in Congress, and that’s why I’m proud to partner with Senator Cornyn and Senator Klobuchar on this bipartisan bill,” said Heller. “This legislation gives Nevada’s prosecutors the necessary resources to go after perpetrators of heinous crimes and to help deliver justice to victims and their families. I look forward to working with my colleagues to see this bill enacted into law.”

“Victims of heinous crimes, including sexual assault, deserve to have their attackers brought to justice, and in order for that to happen, our law enforcement officers must have the proper tools at their disposal,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This bill will enhance prosecutors’ capacity to utilize advances in DNA testing to solve and prosecute cold cases and provide closure to families who have sometimes been waiting years for justice.”

“As a former prosecutor, I know that behind every unprocessed rape kit or cold case is a victim who deserves justice,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “This bill will provide prosecutors the tools they need to find the answers to unsolved crimes, put criminals behind bars and get justice for victims of sexual assault."

Background:

The Justice Served Act of 2018 would provide funds for the prosecution of crimes cleared through DNA. This legislation brings results to the courthouse and resolves these cases by:

  • Authorizing five to seven percent of funds under the Debbie Smith Act to be used to prosecute cold cases;
  • Enhancing prosecutors’ capacity to follow through on what Congress has started with the funding of programs to solve these cases through advances in DNA forensic analysis;
  • Bringing justice to the victims of crime and their families by giving prosecutors the tools they need to investigate, solve, and close cold cases;
  • Giving families closure after sometimes waiting decades for their loved ones’ murderers to be identified through new DNA analysis of old crime scene evidence; and
  • Helping exonerate those who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit with new DNA testing results. 

This legislation has been endorsed by the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), Debbie Smith, the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA), the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), and the National Association of Police Organizations.

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