CHICAGO -- The parents of murder victim Katie Sepich were joined by abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart in presenting Utah Sen. Stuart Adams with the Katie's Hero Award.
The Katie's Hero Award is an honor bestowed on individuals by the Sepichs' nonprofit advocacy group, DNA Saves. It recognizes leadership in solving and preventing crime by supporting legislation to expand the use of forensic DNA technology.
According to the certificate of award, Adams was selected for his strong support of SB277 in 2010 to require DNA upon felony arrest in Utah, to ensure law enforcement is not unwittingly releasing repeat offenders back into the community.
Jayann Sepich, co-founder and president of DNA Saves, introduced the award and 2012 recipients at a Forensic DNA Luncheon event held concurrently during the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislators, this year in Chicago.
In presenting the award, Sepich said, "The enactment of SB277 will have a profound and lasting impact on public safety in Utah. Sen. Adams' leadership on this issue will result in getting many rapists and other violent criminals off the streets, and will prevent additional Utah residents from being needlessly victimized."
The keynote speaker at the luncheon was Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped at knife point from her own bedroom at the age of 14.