Monthly Archives: February 2013

Sen. Tom Udall gives Sepich family signed “Katie’s Law” legislation

Katie SepichWASHINGTON Ð U.S. Sen. Tom Udall welcomed the Sepich family to his Washington office Tuesday to present them with signed copies of the Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act of 2012, the federal legislation President Obama recently signed into law.

New NIJ Publications Available

Justice DeptThrough the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, NIJ has made available the following final technical reports:
Automated Processing of FTA Samples (pdf, 27 pages)
Automated Processing of Sexual Assault Cases Using Selective Degradation (pdf, 75 pages)
DNA Profiling of the Semen Donor in Extended Interval Post-Coital Samples (pdf, 61 pages)
Improved Detection of Male DNA in Post-Coital Samples (pdf, 106 pages)

IntegenX Teams with SAIC to Pursue Defense Threat Reduction Agency Contracts Using Rapid DNA Biometrics Capability

IntegenXIntegenX and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) announced today that they have signed a teaming agreement to pursue Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) Awards supporting U.S. needs for detection of weapons of mass destruction. Support provided by IntegenX and SAIC will enable warfighters to complete their missions efficiently and effectively by supplying an integrated system that provides rapid DNA-based identification of biothreat agents.

Crick’s letter about DNA discovery to be sold at auction

Francis Crick with James D. Watson, co-discoverers of the structure and function of DNA, are shown in this image taken circa 1953(Reuters) – A letter by Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA, outlining the Nobel Prize-winning achievement to his young son is expected to fetch as much as $2 million when it is sold at auction in April, Christie’s said on Tuesday.

Court appears conflicted over DNA sampling issue

AlitoWASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday struggled with what one of the justices called its most important criminal procedure case in decades, whether to let police take DNA without a warrant from those arrested in hopes of using it to solve old cases.

High court’s DNA case pits crime solving vs. privacy

GavelKatie Sepich was raped, murdered and set on fire nearly a decade ago, and her parents’ campaign for justice has reached the Supreme Court. So, too, have the privacy concerns raised by DNA collection.
…On Tuesday, those stories and others will resonate inside the Supreme Court, where the justices will be asked to rule on the use of DNA in law enforcement. At stake is the widespread police practice of taking DNA samples from people arrested but not yet convicted of serious crimes — a practice fueled in part by the persistent advocacy of Katie Sepich’s parents…

Utah crime lab struggles to keep up with explosion of evidence

DNA6Investigators were confident the touch DNA they brought to Utah’s crime lab a couple years ago would confirm they had the right suspect. But an analysis pointed to someone else, according to lab director Jay Henry.
In fact, the lab clears about a third of the people initially suspected of a crime, Henry said. But funding constraints have reduced the lab staff over the past few years, creating long delays in the kind of analysis that cleared the innocent man. Now the lab is asking legislators for two more DNA analysts to handle the mounting evidence and help mend a lab still limping from a “brain drain” it has experienced for years.

Hampden District Attorney Mark Mastroianni creates DNA unit to expedite evidence processing

DNA Helix1SPRINGFIELD — A new DNA unit organized by Hampden District Attorney Mark G. Mastroianni is aimed at getting the best forensic evidence tested and processed in as short a time as possible for his prosecutors to try their cases.

Using science to name John Doe

Death at Unami Gun ClubThree unidentified bodies in Lehigh County put authorities to the forensic test.

Faroes’ 50,000 Residents Leap Into DNA Testing Quagmire

TorshavnThe Faroe Islands, a tiny, windswept land halfway between Scotland and Iceland, is so barren its 50,000 inhabitants import almost everything except fish and sheep. Now it wants to leap to the frontier of genetic medicine.

Police say new chemists can eliminate forensic lab backlog

dna-profilingThe chief forensics officer at the Austin Police Department’s crime lab said funding for three new forensic chemists will enable the department to eliminate a backlog of samples that is causing unprecedented delays in resolving criminal cases.

DNA Privacy Gets First U.S. Supreme Court Test in Rape Case

When Alonzo King was arrested for assault in 2009 after pointing a shotgun at several people, authorities had no reason to think he was also a rapist. Justice and DNA
Then officials swabbed his cheek at the Wicomico County, Maryland, booking facility and ran his DNA through a nationwide database. The check linked King to an unsolved 2003 rape.

New DNA technology helps convict criminals

DNA StrandProsecutors are hailing new DNA technology that helped secure two convictions in a string of recent robberies.
The new True Allele casework system made its debut in a Kern County courtroom this month.

Backlog expanding, still no green light for new crime lab

Jimmy BarnhillSeveral Louisiana courts and law enforcement agencies burdened by a backlog of blood and DNA tests trickling through overworked labs hope soon to see ground breaking for the $24 million North Louisiana Forensic Sciences Center promised nearly eight years ago.

Forensics tests: Bob Bashara’s DNA possibly linked to crime scene

GROSSE POINTE PARK (WXYZ) – Could forensics test results obtained exclusively by 7 Action News link Bob Bashara to his wife’s murder?
Ann Chamberlain, a former Michigan State Police forensic scientist, examined the report. She says a blood sample taken from the garage at Jane and Bob’s Grosse Pointe Park home, where it is believed Jane was killed, show both of their DNA.