Monthly Archives: November 2017

Parliament calls for amendments to Forensic Procedures Act

South Africa- The committee on Tuesday expressed its concerns about the “gaps” in the act, and has instructed the Civilian Secretariat of Police to fast-track processes towards the amendment of the act.
The Criminal Procedures Amendment Act provides, amongst others, for the taking of specified bodily samples (buccal samples) from schedule 8 offenders for forensic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis. The DNA profiles are then stored in the National Forensic DNA Database (NFDD).

Hannah Graham’s Parents Make Case to Expand DNA Collection to Catch Criminals

RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) -The parents of a murdered University of Virginia student are lobbying state lawmakers to expand DNA collection to catch offenders of serious misdemeanor crimes before they strike again.
Hannah Graham’s mother, Sue Graham, joined Albemarle County’s top prosecutor and sheriff in Richmond Wednesday afternoon to push for that expansion.

Why do state laws put an expiration date on sex crimes?

On April 27, 2016, former U.S. house speaker Dennis Hastert was convicted of breaking banking law, but crimes to which he confessed in court — sexually abusing multiple high school boys in Illinois while he served as their wrestling coach nearly four decades ago — would never be prosecuted. Their statutes of limitations had expired.
A year later, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan declared the state had removed the criminal statute of limitation for sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated sexual abuse against children. She credited Illinois’ passage of that legislation with the “powerful and courageous testimony of survivors,” many of them speaking publicly for the first time after years of silence, anger and shame.

Plano PD’s new DNA testing tool weeds out bad samples, cuts wait time for results from months to minutes

The Plano Police Department is testing a new tool that’s expected to help solve crimes faster and save money on forensic testing.
Due to the backlog at crime labs across the country, wait times for DNA results in criminal investigations can be crippling. And there’s no guarantee that items sent for testing will return usable DNA profiles. As much as half of all evidence submitted to crime labs yields no DNA at all.

Senator Calls For More Scrutiny Of Home DNA Test Industry

WASHINGTON (NBC NEWS) – It’s in our genes to be suspicious of fine print.
So, with the holiday season in full swing, Sen. Chuck Schumer on Sunday called for more scrutiny into popular DNA testing kits — saying unknowing customers may be putting their genetic information at risk of being sold to third parties.

Sleuthing That Worked: How Police Finding Cat Hairs Solved This Mail Bomb Case

With all the crime shows on television showing investigators painstakingly combing through evidence, matching DNA, and uncovering unexpected clues in surprising places, it’s no wonder that jurors expect the same kind of proof at real-life trials.

Austin Police Department hires new forensic lab director

AUSTIN – The Austin Police Department’s forensic division now has a new director.
According to an internal email obtained by KVUE, Dr. Dana Kadavy starts work next week. She was previously the director at Signature Science here in Austin.

Wrongly convicted man shares holiday with detective who sought release

Craig Coley has missed a lot of Thanksgiving meals, but he won’t forget carving the turkey this year.
Coley, 70, spent the past 38 years in prison for a double murder he didn’t commit, but this year he was able to eat Thanksgiving dinner with the retired detective who spent nearly three decades attempting to prove his innocence.

New guides for judges explain science behind DNA evidence

Easy-to-understand guides explaining the science behind identifying suspects by their DNA and walk are to be launched for judges.
The primers are being introduced in UK courts as a tool for the judiciary when handling forensic evidence.

Cops never suspected him in murder, until he confessed after DNA ‘sketch’

A Texas man has confessed to killing a 25-year-old woman one week after investigators released a composite profile based on DNA found at the crime scene, authorities said.
Ryan Riggs, 21, initially confessed to his church congregation Wednesday and later to investigators in the May 2016 murder of Chantay Blankinship, Brown County Sheriff Vance Hill told reporters Thursday.

When Medical Conditions Muddle Forensic Casework

A Free, Educational Webinar: Friday, December 8, 2017 • 11:00 a.m. ET

While no case is without its challenges, medical conditions such as chimerism and identical twins add wrinkles to the analysis and interpretation of the DNA profiles obtained in the case. Medical procedures such as bone marrow transplants can also confuse the results, affecting the legal, social and ethical deliberations of the case.

Police, county use rapid DNA system to confirm suspect in Carlisle homicide

Police are crediting the cooperation of citizens, law enforcement and aid from new technology in catching the man they say shot and killed 35-year-old Rhyhiem Hodge Sunday during a robbery in Carlisle.

Petition claims DNA proves innocence of Virginia man sentenced to 100 years for 1990 rape of 10-year-old girl

DNA proves a Virginia Beach man is innocent of the brutal 1990 rape of a 10-year-old girl who now doubts her courtroom identification of him as the assailant, contends a petition filed with the Virginia Supreme Court.
Darnell Phillips, 45, convicted of rape, abduction, forcible sodomy and malicious wounding by a jury in 1991 and sentenced to 100 years in prison, has maintained his innocence, according to his lawyers with the Innocence Project at the University of Virginia School of Law.

Free Webinar- When Medical Conditions Muddle Forensic Casework

When Medical Conditions Muddle Forensic Casework
Fri, Dec 8, 2017 11:00 AM EST

While no case is without its challenges, medical conditions such as chimerism and identical twins add wrinkles to the analysis and interpretation of the DNA profiles obtained in the case. Medical procedures such as bone marrow transplants can also confuse the results, affecting the legal, social and ethical deliberations of the case.
In this webinar, Dr. Anderson will review:
Various types of medical scenarios that can potentially cause confusion.
The interpretation and reporting difficulties experienced when medical conditions have the potential to influence forensic casework results.

WWII soldier to be buried on Veterans Day in Michigan

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit soldier who was killed fighting Japanese forces in World War II will be laid to rest on Veterans Day in northern Michigan.Army Technician Fourth Grade Pete M. Counter was 24 when he went missing in action, the Detroit Free Press reported .