Combining DNA profiles with the Individuals Register would save lives by allowing serial killers and rapists to be caught after their first crime. The people of California took a step in the right direction with Proposition 69, which requires the DNA sampling of all felons as well as all persons arrested for felonies and certain misdemeanors, regardless of conviction. The proposition reads:
The people of the State of California do hereby find and declare that:
a. Our communities have a compelling interest in protecting themselves from crime.
b. There is a critical and urgent need to provide law enforcement officers and agencies with the latest scientific technology available for accurately and expeditiously identifying, apprehending, arresting, and convicting criminal offenders and exonerating persons wrongly suspected or accused of crime.
c. Law enforcement should be able to use the DNA Database and Data Bank Program to substantially reduce the number of unsolved crimes; to help stop serial crime by quickly comparing DNA profiles of qualifying persons and evidence samples with as many investigations and cases as necessary to solve crime and apprehend perpetrators; to exonerate persons wrongly suspected or accused of crime; and to identify human remains.
d. The state has a compelling interest in the accurate identification of criminal offenders, and DNA testing at the earliest stages of criminal proceedings for felony offenses will help thwart criminal perpetrators from concealing their identities and thus prevent time-consuming and expensive investigations of innocent persons.
e. The state has a compelling interest in the accurate identification of criminal offenders, and it is reasonable to expect qualifying offenders to provide forensic DNA samples for the limited identification purposes set forth in this chapter.
The following report from the London’s Times illustrates the value of DNA technology when used in conjunction with DNA registers. It also shows the need for criminal investigations of people who have no visible means of financial support:
Colin Jacklin, now 51, raped a 15-year-old girl and indecently assaulted another aged 13 in 1989, and raped a 24-year-old woman the following year. He escaped detection until 1998, when a traffic check by police in Nottingham … found that he was driving while disqualified and without insurance.
He was arrested and taken to a police station where a sample of saliva was taken, as is now becoming routine along with fingerprinting. Samples were sent to a forensic laboratory in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, which made a match with DNA from the rapes in Nottingham and Washington.
. . . Police could find no record of Jacklin ever having had a job. His criminal record includes shoplifting, theft, car theft, obtaining property by deception, DSS fraud and dishonesty. He also has a conviction for abducting a boy aged 9 and a girl aged 11 in Nottingham in 1975.
Christopher Prince, for the prosecution, had told the jury: “The offences are considered as every woman’s nightmare, being attacked at night as they walked alone. He grabbed each one in a headlock and dragged them to a secluded spot. He blindfolded his victims and threatened them.”
. . . Two of Jacklin’s victims called a press conference yesterday to urge other women who had been sexually assaulted to tell their stories … Miss A, now 25, said: “This case should teach people a very important lesson which is to tell police if they have suffered at the hands of a rapist … It was hard at first to come to terms with after the ordeal. I was sleepwalking and wouldn’t go out of the house. It started to get easier after a few months. I was off school for about four weeks.”
The two women met at court two days ago and have since become good friends. Miss B, 23, said: “I hope he gets life. I couldn’t sleep at night—I kept seeing his face over and over again. I couldn’t go out and found it very hard to relate to men. I hope he rots in jail.”
Of course, solving crime is only the first step in addressing criminal behavior. This monster in fact did not rot in jail for life, instead he received a mere ten years jail—further proof that the punishment for heinous crimes ought to be determined by referendum and not by judicial discretion.