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Washington State News

AG Ferguson Locates 387 sex, Kidnapping and Homicide Offenders in Washington who owe DNA, Collects DNA From 102 so far

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced that his lawfully owed DNA project identified 387 sex, kidnapping and homicide offenders still living in Washington who illegally failed to provide DNA samples after their criminal conviction. Of these 387 individuals, the Attorney General’s Office already collected 102 new DNA profiles, including:

  • 5 new DNA profiles from individuals convicted of homicide;
  • 10 new DNA profiles from individuals convicted of kidnapping; and
  • 88 new DNA profiles from convicted sex offenders. (The previous phase of this project collected DNA profiles from registered sex offenders. This phase focused on sex offenders who are not required to register.)

All 102 new profiles were added to CODIS, the national DNA database.

This is the second phase of Ferguson’s lawfully owed DNA project. In May, Ferguson announced that his office completed the collection of lawfully owed DNA from currently registered sex offenders across the state, resulting in 372 new profiles in CODIS.

The Attorney General’s Office estimates that thousands of convicted violent offenders in Washington needed to submit a DNA sample as a condition of their sentence but failed to provide one. Ferguson’s office is committed to working with law enforcement to collect all of them, if feasible.

“DNA helps solve cold cases and can exonerate individuals wrongfully convicted,” Ferguson said. “Out of respect to victims and survivors of crimes, and for the rule of law, this work must be done.”

Lawfully owed DNA is defined as a DNA sample from a qualifying criminal offender who should have their sample in CODIS, but from whom a sample has never been collected or submitted to a lab for testing. Washington law requires all offenders convicted of a felony, certain gross misdemeanors and all currently registered sex and kidnapping offenders to provide a DNA sample. Some fail to comply with this part of their sentence. The Attorney General’s lawfully owed DNA project aims to identify and collect these legally required samples. Ferguson’s office is working with local law enforcement around the state to collect DNA samples from offenders who still owe samples.