Brianna Denison was a beautiful 19 year old college freshman when she was kidnapped while sleeping on a couch in a friend’s house. She was viciously raped and murdered. Her life would have been saved by arrestee DNA testing.
James Biela raped two other women prior to Brianna. There was DNA evidence in both of these rapes. Biela was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, but charges were dropped. The law in Nevada at that time did not allow for DNA to be taken at the time of felony arrest. Had Biela been required to give a DNA sample when he was arrested, he would have been identified as the perpetrator in his prior rapes and not have been free to kidnap, rape and murder Brianna Denison. Nevada has since passed an arrestee DNA law, known as “Brianna’s Law”.
Morgan Harrington was kidnapped, raped and murdered in Virginia in October of 2009. The man arrested for Morgan’s murder due to a later DNA match, Jesse Matthew, had committed a sexual assault in 2005 and a DNA profile from that crime was uploaded into CODIS, but there was no match to an offender. Matthew was arrested for felony grand larceny in July of 2009, but Virginia’s law did not allow his DNA to be taken for that arrest. Had his DNA been taken at that time, the match could have been made to the 2005 sexual assault and Matthew would not have been free to murder Morgan Harrington, sparing her life.
Hannah Graham was abducted, raped and murdered in September of 2014. Jesse Matthew has also been linked through DNA evidence to Hannah’s murder. Taking DNA at the time of Matthew’s July 2009 arrest for felony grand larceny could have easily saved Hannah’s life. Matthew was also convicted of a misdemeanor trespass in 2010. Had Matthew been required to provide DNA as a result of this conviction, Hannah’s life would have been spared.