Monthly Archives: January 2019

Delaware DNA Collection Bill Is Ready

The bill amends section 4713 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code to require buccal swab DNA sampling of persons arrested for (instead of convicted of) certain violent felonies. It also requires blood DNA sampling of persons convicted of violent felonies,incarcerated in the Delaware correctional facilities.

Tuam babies: Survivors call for immediate DNA tests

More than 20 survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home have called on the Irish government to take their DNA samples urgently.
The excavation of the Galway site, containing the remains of children buried in unmarked graves, is to begin later this year.

Familial DNA searching- an emerging forensic investigative too

In recent years, jurisdictions across the United States have expressed a growing interest in aiding criminal investigations through the use of familial DNA searching (FDS)- a forensic technique to identify family members through DNA databases. The National Survey of CODIS Laboratories surveyed U.S. CODIS laboratories about their perceptions, policies, and practices related to FDS. In total, 103 crime labs completed the survey (77% response rate). Labs in 11 states reported using FDS, while labs in 24 states reported using a similar-but distinct- practice of partial matching. Although the majority of labs had positive perceptions about the ability of FDS to assist investigations, labs also reported a number of concerns and challenges with implementing FDS. Respondents reported using either practice a limited amount with modest numbers of convictions resulting from both FDS and partial matching. The article reports on varying practices related to official policies, training, eligibility, the software search, lineage testing, requirements for releasing information, and subsequent investigative work. Finally, the article discusses what can be learned from this survey, accompanying limitations, and implications for decision-makers considering using FDS.

The research discussed in this article is the result of an NIJ-funded project but the article was not published by the U.S. Department of Justice. Opinions or points of view expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Joe Biden: Every ‘Untested Rape Kit Means A Survivor Without Justice’

It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of rape kits still sit untested in police facilities around the country.

Judge: New DNA evidence means man is entitled to new trial

Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge John Allen ruled last week that Gates is entitled to a new trial, citing new testing that showed his DNA was not on the fabric used to bind Wright. The judge also found that prosecutors at Gates’ trial purposely excluded black jurors, but he wrote that evidence of that behavior was presented too late to declare a new trial on those grounds.

Exonerated man pitches senate on forensic science bill

RICHMOND, Va. — A bill to help people wrongfully convicted by flawed forensic science is under consideration in Virginia, helped by a man who spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Maryland bill would further curb police use of DNA databases

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland’s legislature is considering expanding restrictions on how law enforcement uses DNA databases to identify criminal suspects.

ASCLD Train the Director Series

The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) and the American Society of Crime Lab Director’s (ASCLD) are partnering to bring the crime lab leadership community an expansive training series highlighting five different forensic disciplines:

Crime Gun Intelligence (Thursday, January 24, 2:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET)
Digital Forensics (Thursday, January 31, 2:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET)
Fire Debris Analysis (Thursday, February 7, 2:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET)
Trace Analysis (Thursday, February 14, 2:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET)
Quality Assurance (TBD)
Attend any or all of these webinars using the link below.

He’s accused of killing two police officers. His trial can’t begin until the shutdown ends.

The lapse in federal government funding affected the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Justice Department employees involved in criminal investigations and prosecution are among those working without a paycheck.

House supports Morrison’s bill providing new tool to identify human remains

Indianapolis, IN – The House of Representatives voted Tuesday in support of State Rep. Alan Morrison’s (R-Brazil) proposal giving coroners one more way to quickly and accurately identify human remains.

Employers cannot use genetic information to make employment decisions

A health care center in Phoenix recently addressed the question of whether it could legally obtain DNA from its male employees.
The facility needed to determine whether any of its workers was responsible for impregnating a woman who had been living at the facility in a vegetative state for 10 years following a drowning.

Why China Is the Brave New World of Editing Human DNA

The headline-making births last November of the world’s first gene-edited babies (twin girls) was unsurprising in one way: The scientist involved was from China. As part of its effort to dominate scientific spheres including biotechnology, China has taken the lead in testing uses of Crispr, a tool newly available to researchers enabling them to alter DNA codes simply and inexpensively. Chinese scientists were the first to test Crispr in monkey embryos, in non-viable human embryos, in adult humans, and now in creating designer babies. Now China is confronting accusations that its regulatory system is overlooking the ethical considerations and medical risks.

DNA solves Rudolf Hess doppelgänger conspiracy theory

Adolf Hitler’s deputy flew to Scotland in 1941 and was imprisoned for the rest of his life. But was the man in Spandau really Rudolf Hess? Now a DNA test has revealed the truth

Coming Soon to a Police Station Near You: The DNA ‘Magic Box’

BENSALEM, Pa. — They call it the “magic box.” Its trick is speedy, nearly automated processing of DNA.
“It’s groundbreaking to have it in the police department,” said Detective Glenn Vandegrift of the Bensalem Police Department. “If we can do it, any department in the country can do it.”

Uhuru backs law change to start listing of Kenyans’ DNA

The government is now free to collect data on Kenyans’ DNA and physical location of their homes including satellite details during registration of persons.