Legislation named after a murdered New Mexico State University student has been passed by Congress and is now awaiting the president's signature. U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall reignited the push for a national "Katie's Law" last year. The legislation was aimed at creating incentives for states to implement programs to collect DNA from individuals arrested or charged with serious crimes.
The legislation passed the Senate late Friday. House approval came the week before Christmas.
Katie Sepich was raped and murdered in 2003. Because New Mexico at the time did not collect DNA from felony arrestees, her killer wasn't identified when he was arrested that same year for unrelated crimes.
It was three years before he was identified with DNA evidence after he was convicted of another crime.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.