OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Senate has passed a bill that would require DNA collected in any felony case charged as a violent or sex offense to be preserved through the length of the offender’s sentence, including post-prison community custody.
Daily Archives: April 8, 2015
The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division took biometric identification to the next level when the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System—now the FBI’s largest information technology system—became fully operational. Seven years in the making, this new system expands upon and replaces the 15-year-old Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS).
DNA-based evidence has a long history of admissibility in legal proceedings stretching back to 1985 when Sir Alec Jeffreys first used DNA testing to resolve an immigration dispute in the United Kingdom. In 1987, DNA made more court appearances in parallel legal cases to convict serial rapist and murderer Colin Pitchfork in the UK and rapist Tommy Lee Andrews in the United States. Since these cases, the admissibility of DNA evidence in US courts has been challenged and upheld numerous times (United States v. Jakobetz and Andrews v. Florida), and DNA evidence has become the gold standard in many court cases. So why are scientists being asked once again to debate the admissibility of DNA evidence, specifically high sensitivity DNA, in the courtroom?
It used to take about 105 days for Orange County detectives to link a suspect to a violent crime through DNA found at the crime scene.
That was about the time it took to collect dozens — if not hundreds — of pieces of evidence, deliver them to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Crime Lab in Orlando and test them for possible DNA samples.
There are no shortcuts in criminal investigations, but a new tool is saving time and investigation expenses at law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Rapid DNA instruments—desktop devices that provide sample-to-result analysis of biological evidence in less than two hours—are making a difference in dozens of U.S. jurisdictions by allowing the timely matching of a suspect’s unique DNA profile to crime scene evidence.