State Sen. Jonathan Nichols said cold cases involving some of the worst crimes in Oklahoma will now have a better chance of being solved. Nichols praised Gov. Brad Henry for signing Senate Bill 1102, also known as “Julie’s Law” on Wednesday. The legislation, written by Nichols, R-Norman, would add new misdemeanor crimes to those that can result in the harvesting of DNA. The DNA would only be collected upon conviction of those crimes.
“This is named for Julie Buskin, a beautiful OU student who was murdered in 1996. Her case was unsolved for years, until we expanded the DNA database. That legislation brought her killer to justice,” said Nichols, who authored that expansion legislation.
Crimes being added to those that can result in DNA collection include the misdemeanor offenses of assault and battery, domestic abuse, stalking, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, outraging public decency, resisting arrest and peeping tom. The law also requires the collection of DNA from illegal aliens who are arrested in Oklahoma and then are to be deported.
“Jessica Brown, the spokesperson for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, has called this law a much-needed tool for law enforcement. As a former prosecutor, I know that DNA evidence can help us get some of our most violent criminals off the streets and prevent them from victimizing others,” Nichols said.