SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — The following is a joint statement from Calif. Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Glendale) and Crime Victims United regarding the Assembly Appropriations Committee’s decision today to hold AB 84 in the suspense file:

Assemblyman Mike Gatto“Last December, the California Court of Appeal quietly struck down all of California’s DNA-testing laws, which are used to solve the most serious crimes. An appeal is pending before the California Supreme Court.

“If the high court does not overturn the intermediate court’s decision (and that outcome is in doubt), hundreds of thousands of California families awaiting justice for a murdered loved one, and hundreds of thousands of rape victims, will see their chances of obtaining justice greatly diminished.

“The legislative process is old-fashioned, technical, and slow, and the Legislature remains a place that rarely speaks with uniformity on any issue. It is therefore highly doubtful that the Legislature could react to a bad Supreme Court decision with the necessary rapidity to ensure that millions of criminals do not go free without being tested to solve other crimes.

“Assembly Bill 84 was a rare example of the Legislature planning ahead to anticipate a less-than-ideal outcome, and had passed with bipartisan support and the support of crime-victims groups. Today, the Assembly Appropriations Committee and Assembly leadership took a huge gamble on the outcome of a lengthy and complicated case by holding AB 84, in effect killing it for this legislative session. Sadly, they chose political gamesmanship over victims’ families.

“Words cannot express our disappointment at this outcome, and we will do everything it takes to ensure that there is no lag in DNA testing of our most heinous criminals.”

Mike Gatto is the Chairman of the Consumer Protection and Privacy Committee, and the longest-serving current member of the State Assembly. He represents California’s 43rd Assembly District, which includes Burbank, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, and Silver Lake.