Monthly Archives: June 2016

Law ensuring sex assault evidence kits processing up for approval

Sexual assault kits 6ALBANY – Police must submit sexual-assault evidence kits containing DNA evidence to laboratories within 10 days of collecting it, under legislation heading to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk.

Iowa collecting numbers on untested rape kits

rape kitDES MOINES, Iowa — DES MOINES, Iowa Janelle Melohn says when it comes to sexual assault evidence collection kits, there hasn’t been a consistency in gathering information.
Melohn, who is the division director of the Iowa Attorney General’s Crime Victim Assistance Division, says that became evident when they started surveying law enforcement agencies for their inventory count of untested rape kits.

How rape kit DNA and an intrepid investigator unraveled a serial rape case

dna_justiceCLEVELAND, Ohio – By the time Stacey Fifer started investigating John Doe #2, he was already the suspect in six rapes.
Fifer, a Bureau of Criminal Investigation special agent working with Cuyahoga County’s Sexual Assault Kit task force, caught the seventh case. It was a 2003 rape reported by 39-year-old woman who said she was forced into a car and raped in a vacant lot on Cleveland’s East Side.

State audit underway of untested sexual assault evidence kits

KellerKeller’s office has begun a statewide audit of law enforcement evidence rooms to determine how many sexual assault evidence kits remain unprocessed and how substantial the backlog is. At a public meeting Tuesday at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, Keller promised audit findings will be released by the end of the year.

Ohio agency, BGSU receive grant for sexual-assault kits

Helix and MagnifierBOWLING GREEN — Researchers from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Bowling Green State University have been awarded a nearly $440,000 grant from a private foundation to make the testing process for sexual-assault kits more efficient.

Urgent need for DNA data bank

Database DNATRINIDAD and TOBAGO-FOR MORE than 16 years the need for the establishment of a national forensic DNA data bank has been recognised by our various governments, but we continue to be without this valuable tool in the fight against crime.

NY lawmakers OK deadlines for rape kit processing

colored vertical helixolice must submit rape kits containing DNA evidence to laboratories within 10 days of collecting it under legislation heading to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk. The bill also requires labs to process evidence within 90 days and calls for clearing any backlog of the evidence kits, which can be used to…

State crime labs pick up the pace

Samples at ISPWith a recent history of backlogs, delays and high employee turnover rates, the state crime lab in Boise is putting itself on track to turn around its checkered history and speed up processing of forensic evidence for court cases statewide.
Of the three forensic laboratories operated by the Idaho State Police, the lab in Idaho’s capital is the sole state forensic lab that processes DNA evidence, oftentimes the linchpin of homicide and rape cases.

Hatch bill to enable local police access to FBI DNA database clears Senate

Blue Helix2The Senate approved bipartisan legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on Friday to modernize the nation’s DNA laws and enable local police to upload samples to an FBI database.
The Rapid DNA Act, S. 2348, was designed to enable local police to quickly determine whether a suspect is connected to a crime using the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database.

DNA evidence proves accountant is true heir to Scottish baronetcy

navy DNAAn accountant from the home counties has won the right to inherit a Scottish baronetcy in a pioneering case where DNA testing proved aristocratic entitlement. The judicial committee of the privy council (JCPC) ruled on Monday that Murray Pringle, 74, who lives in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, should become the next baronet of Stichill.

Senate passes Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016

mark-warnerThe Senate unanimously passed the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016, bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) to reauthorize programs within the Department of Justice to improve the accuracy and integrity of the criminal justice system, and ensure public confidence in our legal system by investing in cutting-edge DNA testing and forensic technology.

State auditor plans meetings to address rape kit backlog

Sexual assualt backlogState Auditor Tim Keller announced Wednesday a series of meetings across New Mexico to discuss the statewide backlog of evidence in 5,400 rape cases that might have pinpointed suspects through DNA analysis but instead have sat untested in police evidence rooms.

Man Convicted In 1995 West Village Rape As Result Of Backlog Rape Kit Testing

sexual assault kits“Across the country, hundreds of thousands of rape kits sit untested: many jurisdictions don’t mandate rape kit testing, and it’s generally considered a low priority for law enforcement, according to ENDTHEBACKLOG, a nonprofit working to eliminate the rape kit backlog. Last year, the Manhattan DA gave $38 million in grants to 32 jurisdictions in 20 states across the country to help tackle the national backlog, and since then, 494 DNA profiles have been uploaded to the national database, with 70% of them resulting in a hit, according to the DA’s office.”

Down the Road: Testing Evidence in Sexual Assaults

Justice DeptYesterday, the White House held a Summit on Women, where speakers discussed how the nation is moving forward to address issues affecting women and girls. At this Summit, NIJ launched it’s special report, Down the Road: Testing Evidence in Sexual Assaults to help practitioners and advocates understand the larger context of improving the justice system’s response to sexual assault.
Read about NIJ’s work on testing sexual assault kits in Down the Road.

Discovering the Truth About the Dozier School for Boys

dozier-school-graves-768x512The Dozier School for Boys had cemeteries instead of playgrounds.
The stories of abuses that took place at the reformative school in Marianna, Florida are nothing short of a plot for the TV series American Horror Story. The beatings and other punishments administered to students throughout the school’s 111-year history contributed to the deaths for some of the nearly 100 deceased.