Exonerated Tennessee Man Gets $1M After 31 Years in Prison

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee man who spent 31 years in prison before new DNA evidence led to his 1978 rape and burglary convictions being overturned has been awarded $1 million in damages.
The Tennessean reports that the Tennessee Board of Claims voted unanimously Wednesday to award the sum to 61-year-old Lawrence McKinney, who was released in 2009.

Cornyn, Poe Introduce Bill To Reauthorize The Debbie Smith Act, Provide Resources To Fight Rape Kit Backlogs

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Representative Ted Poe (TX-02) today introduced the Debbie Smith Crime Victims Protection Act, legislation to reauthorize the Debbie Smith Act and dedicate much-needed resources to state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct forensic analyses of crime scenes, including untested rape kits. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) cosponsored the bill.

Intermountain Healthcare to Build Global DNA Registry with AncestryDNA, 23andMe Data

Intermountain Healthcare is building a new global DNA registry based on medical histories from people around the world, using existing genetic test results and electronic health histories.
The new DNA database, the GeneRosity Registry, will enable researchers to find genetic codes that determine who’s at risk of developing genetic health problems and help them quickly and economically.

DNA’s Newfound Power for Crime-Solving

DNA is the gold standard when it comes to crime-solving. Linking shreds of DNA evidence together, forensic investigators can provide reliable proof that ties an offender to a crime or exonerates the innocent. Successfully used by both prosecutors and the defense, DNA testing has come to be regarded as the bread and butter of forensic investigation.

Promega’s taking the show on the road with all the Power to Solve

Please join us for presentations and discussions on the latest advances in STR analysis and the forensics workflow, including updates on the Spectrum CE Systems. The workshop will feature presentations by leaders in the forensics community who will provide information and tips on maximizing success with challenging samples and improving laboratory efficiencies through workflow enhancements. The presentations will also include customer experiences and insights from using Promega products.
These seminars are FREE of charge to individuals involved in forensics. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Space is limited, so be sure to register early!

Exclusive: Royal Burial in Ancient Canaan May Shed New Light on Biblical City

An undisturbed elite tomb discovered in ancient Armageddon is replete with gold offerings—and the promise of unlocking secrets with DNA analysis.

Tim Schellberg: Without Criminal Databases, DNA Machine Can’t Work

While the state Forensics Science Laboratory (FSL), Kalina, is in a tizzy over the possible acquisition of the sophisticated Rapid DNA Analysis System that is said to help speed up criminal investigations, an expert on the issue believes the decision is unwise.
Tim Schellberg, President of Gordon Thomas Honeywell, Governmental Affairs, USA, strongly feels that the machine cannot be used for actual crime scene analysis, and it is at present used only for reference sample analysis in advanced countries where DNA profiling data banks are available. India may make use of this technology, in years to come, when they have the data bank ready.

National DNA databank for missing persons up and running after years of delay

On Aug. 2 1993, 14-year-old Lindsey Nicholls went walking down a rural road in Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley. That was the last anyone saw of her.
Her mother, Judy Peterson, believes her daughter was hitchhiking. Police believe she met with foul play, she says.

MU forensic science lab nears completion

HUNTINGTON — For the first time in more than 20 years, the Marshall University Forensic Science graduate program is housed at one location, which professors believe will allow the nationally known program to expand on its class size, courses and research.
The Marshall Forensic Science Center, located on Forensic Science Drive at the corner of 14th Street and Charleston Avenue in Huntington, houses the school’s graduate forensic science program, as well as the state of West Virginia’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) laboratory facility.

Scott Kelly: Nasa Twins Study Confirms Astronaut’s Dna Actually Changed In Space

Astronaut Scott Kelly’s DNA was altered by a year in space, results from NASA’s Twins Study have confirmed. Seven percent of his genes did not return to normal after he landed, researchers found.
Scott Kelly and his twin brother, Mark Kelly—also an astronaut—were the subjects of the study that sought to find out exactly what happens to the body after a year in space.

Dutch Police Are DNA Testing 21,500 Men to Solve A 20-Year-Old Murder

In 1986, a technique called “DNA fingerprinting” was used for the first time in a criminal investigation, when a geneticist named Alec Jeffreys realised that when DNA was extracted from cells and attached to photographic film, it developed as a sequence of bars that could uniquely identify someone. His accidental discovery helped nail the suspect in the murder of 15-year-old Dawn Ashworth. Since then, for better and for worse, DNA has become gold-standard evidence that has led to thousands of convictions.

Bones Discovered in 1940 Could Have Been Amelia Earhart’s

A new forensic analysis suggests that bones found on the Pacific island of Nikumaroro in 1940—and subsequently lost—could very well have been those of Amelia Earhart.

New Solicitation: Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence

NIJ seeks proposals for funding to assist in defraying the costs associated with postconviction DNA testing in cases of violent felony offenses (as defined by State law) in which actual innocence might be demonstrated. Funds may be used to identify and review such postconviction cases and to locate and analyze associated biological evidence.
All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 26, 2018.
Review the Solicitation.

The search for Greece’s unburied war dead

Their remains lie where they fell during world war II. Some 8000 Greek soldiers buried in mass graves in Albania. They had been confronting Italian troops they had driven out of Greece between 1940-1941.

New Solicitations: Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program

The Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program awards grants to States and units of local government to help improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner/coroner’s office services. Funds under this program may be used to eliminate a backlog in the analysis of forensic evidence and to train and employ forensic laboratory personnel and mediocolegal death investigators, as needed, to eliminate such a backlog.

NIJ seeks proposals for formula (“base”) funding as well as proposals for competitive funding under the program.

Under the program, State Administering Agencies (SAAs) may apply for both formula and competitive funds. Any State/local government entity performing forensic science services is considered a “forensic science laboratory.”

ll applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 30, 2018.

Applicants must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting an application.