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November 21, 2012


Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that an operation led by her office has resulted in more than 100 DNA specimens being collected from sex offenders living in Chicago who were convicted of serious sex crimes out of state.

Madigan's operation sought to increase compliance with an Illinois law, crafted by her office, that requires all convicted sex offenders to submit DNA specimens to the state's DNA database regardless of the conviction date or the state in which the offender was convicted. By increasing compliance with this requirement, Madigan's office is working to expand the DNA database, which will both provide a stronger tool for law enforcement investigating violent crimes and help exonerate those who have been wrongfully convicted.

During the Tuesday operation, conducted in partnership with the Illinois Department of Corrections, DNA specimens were collected from 107 offenders, the majority of registered sex offenders who have relocated to Chicago following an out-of-state conviction on a sex offense. These offenders did not have a DNA specimen in the database.

"DNA evidence is often critical to convicting sex offenders and exonerating those who are innocent," said Madigan. "This week's operation helps us to ensure that sex offenders living in Illinois have a DNA sample in the database."

Across the country, sex offenders are required to register with law enforcement at least annually and submit DNA specimens upon conviction for a sex offense. In Illinois, offenders who relocate here from out of state must register and submit DNA to the database as part of the registration process. This requirement, which was added to the law through legislation that Madigan's office drafted, ensures that all sex offenders living in Illinois, regardless of where and when they were convicted, are registered.

The operation by Madigan's office is part of ongoing checks of sex offenders to ensure compliance with the registration laws and a continuing partnership with local law enforcement agencies to ensure DNA specimens are added to the database. These compliance checks increase authorities' ability to investigate criminals for sex crimes and help ensure the safety of Illinois communities.

Madigan was also instrumental in bringing about a law in Illinois to make it the first state in the nation to require mandatory submission and testing of sexual assault evidence. The law was prompted by the discovery that thousands of rape kits collected from sexual assault survivors in Illinois had never been submitted for testing. Under the Illinois Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Act, Madigan helped implement a statewide protocol to test DNA rape kits. Under the Act, local law enforcement must submit DNA rape kits to Illinois State Police crime labs for testing within 10 business days of receiving the kit from a hospital, and ISP must analyze the kit within six months of receipt.


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