Monthly Archives: May 2012

Rape kit backlog in Houston gets federal attention

Houston Mayor Annise Parker will be joined by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn Wednesday afternoon to discuss federal legislation that could help eliminate thousands of untested rape kits at law enforcement agencies across the country.
During a press conference at City Hall, officials are expected to highlight the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry or SAFER Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Cornyn, R-Texas, earlier this month to reduce what is an estimated nationwide rape kit backlog of nearly 400,000. If approved, the bill would provide funding to state and local governments to conduct audits of untested DNA evidence. It would also create a national registry to help track and prioritize untested rape kits.

New law will make Brazil safer and save lives

Brazil has passed a law to require DNA from convicted criminals for inclusion in the national Brazilian DNA database. The DNA database will match these profiles to evidence from unsolved violent crimes.

Promega Launches SwabSolution™ Kit, PunchSolution™ Kit and 5X AmpSolution™ Reagent

The SwabSolution™ Kit, PunchSolution™ Kit and 5X AmpSolution™ Reagent allow fast and simple processing of swabs and punches for PowerPlex® System analysis. These products are intended for preparation of single-source reference, database and paternity samples where sample purification is unnecessary.

DNA study seeks origin of Appalachia’s Melungeons

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — For years, varied and sometimes wild claims have been made about the origins of a group of dark-skinned Appalachian residents once known derisively as the Melungeons. Some speculated they were descended from Portuguese explorers, or perhaps from Turkish slaves or Gypsies.

Missing identification process leaving Cyprus

THE PROCESS for identifying the remains of missing persons is leaving Cyprus once and for all after the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING) refused to accept the terms on the table for a contract renewal.

DNA on beer can needle ‘likely’ belongs to Clemens

Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON — A needle stored with a beer can appeared to contain an extremely tiny amount of Roger Clemens’ DNA, which turned out to be good news and bad news for both sides in the perjury trial of the seven-time Cy Young Award winner.

RCMP to close three forensic labs

OTTAWA—The RCMP will shut three of its six forensic labs key in a bid to save $3.5 million a year.

Utah crime lab: Evidence, frustration piling up

Ideally, Jay Henry and his staff at the State Crime Lab would take just three weeks to analyze the DNA, ballistics and fingerprint evidence that helps put criminals behind bars or exonerates the innocent.

Military diligent in quest to locate its missing

Washington Times
Armed forces lab follows leads, finds remains, IDs the fallen

Registry tracks wrongful convictions

A new database created by academic researchers seeks to identify cases of wrongful convictions across the country and includes three Kansas cases.
The National Registry of Exonerations, created by researchers at University of Michigan Law School and the Center for Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University, chronicles more than 2,000 people falsely convicted of serious crimes in the United States in the past 23 years.

State crime labs seeing increased demands for DNA tests

High-tech backlog keeps offenders on streets
A high-tech backlog may be allowing potentially dangerous offenders stay on the streets.

From Fingerprints to DNA: Biometric Data Collection in U.S. Immigrant Communities and Beyond

New White Paper from EFF and the Immigration Policy Center Outlines Privacy and Security Concerns
San Francisco – Today the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) release “From Fingerprints to DNA: Biometric Data Collection in U.S. Immigrant Communities and Beyond.” The paper outlines the current state of U.S. government collection of biometric information and the problems that could arise from these growing databases of records. It also points out how immigrant communities are immediately affected by the way this data is collected, stored, and shared.

US forensic expert says he was asked to help with China death inquiry

Washington Post
BEIJING — A prominent American forensic scientist said Wednesday that Chinese police asked him to analyze an unidentified blood sample, in a possible link to a spiraling political scandal in which a senior official was sacked amid allegations that his wife murdered a British man.
Henry Lee said police did not directly ask for help investigating the death of Neil Heywood, whose body was found in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing. The wife of the city’s Communist Party chief has been named a suspect in Heywood’s death.

Local Company’s DNA Kit Helps Reunite Girl With Mom

CARLSBAD, Calif. — A local company played a major role in reuniting a mother and her kidnapped child.

A look at TPD’s new crime lab

Tucson Arizona
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) – Analysts at the new Tucson police crime lab have been especially busy these last few weeks processing evidence gathered in the investigation of missing 6-year-old Isabel Celis.