Category Archives: DNA Legislation

DHS commences pilot project to collect DNA from certain travellers

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced a pilot project to collect DNA samples from certain travellers, which commenced on January 6, 2020.
This announcement has prompted questions from Canadians (and other foreign nationals), who are concerned that they may be required to provide a sample of their DNA when travelling to the United States. Although privacy advocates are concerned about this mandatory collection of DNA, the pilot project, as it presently stands, may not be a significant departure from current practices.

Senate bill would require DNA testing for all felony arrests

JEFFERSON CITY — Katie Sepich was raped, strangled and set on fire outside her New Mexico home in 2003. After DNA was found under her fingernails, her family hoped that police would be able to catch the murderer. The DNA, however, was not in the federal DNA database, so there was no evidence to tie someone to the crime.

Bill to prevent another rape kit backlog passes a divided Wisconsin Assembly

A Republican bill aiming to prevent another rape kit backlog that includes provisions on school vouchers and undocumented immigration has cleared the Wisconsin state Assembly.

New bill would allow more DNA testing in old cases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) — Advances in DNA testing now make it possible to identify perpetrators that would have gone undetected a decade or two ago, but people convicted of a crime have been blocked from having crime scene DNA except in the most unusual circumstances.
However, new legislation could lead to more being exonerations and convictions.

Lawmakers seek to block insurance companies from access to DNA tests

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) — More than 26 million Americans have voluntarily submitted their DNA for analysis, but a loophole in federal law could allow some insurance companies to get the genetic information.

New Oregon Law Opens Up Process For Post-conviction DNA Testing

A new law that took effect on Jan. 1 will allow better access to post-conviction DNA testing for people who say they’ve been wrongfully convicted of aggravated murder and other serious crimes.
The new measure amends statutes previously introduced in 2015 that said someone requesting a DNA test would have to show that specific evidence would lead to finding that they were “actually innocent,” in effect having to vouch for their innocence before DNA could even be tested.

Trump Reauthorizes Debbie Smith Act To Eliminate Rape Kit Backlogs Across U.S.

President Donald Trump signed legislation Monday that allocates funding to help states clear the backlog of more than 100,000 rape kits across the country, ending several years of nationwide initiatives to get federal support.

Kaul Pushes For Hearing On Sexual Assault Kit Bill

The bill in question would create a standard procedure for collecting DNA evidence in sexual assault cases in Wisconsin, with the hope being that this could prevent a backlog of sexual assault kits in the future.

EFF Sues DHS to Obtain Information About the Agency’s Use of Rapid DNA Testing on Migrant Families at the Border

San Francisco—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today to obtain information that will shine a light on the agency’s use of Rapid DNA technology on migrant families at the border to verify biological parent-child relationships.

Maloney Hails Passage of Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney’s (D-NY) H.R. 777 – Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2019. This bipartisan bill was introduced with Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) in January.

US taking step to require DNA of asylum-seekers

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is planning to collect DNA samples from asylum-seekers and other migrants detained by immigration officials and will add the information to a massive FBI database used by law enforcement hunting for criminals, a Justice Department official said.

Wisconsin Lawmakers Consider Sexual Assault Victims Bill Of Rights

Wisconsin would adopt a new bill of rights for sexual assault victims under a proposal in the state Legislature.
Under the bill, victims of sexual assault would be guaranteed a number of rights, including the right to choose whether or not to undergo a forensic examination and the right to be notified before any evidence from that examination is destroyed.
The rights would be afforded in addition to those already guaranteed under state law for all crime victims.

Helen’s Law ‘may come too late’, says victim’s mother

A woman whose daughter was murdered three decades ago has said she is running out of time to find out where the body is.

Despite DNA evidence, statute of limitations prevents prosecution of Ohio rape cases

Our exclusive three-month 5 On Your Side Investigation reveals how Ohio fails sexual assault victims. We uncovered dozens of cases that will never be prosecuted, despite compelling DNA evidence, because of Ohio’s current statute of limitations.

DOJ Announces Forensic Genealogy Guidelines At Palm Springs Conference


It’s the largest DNA forensic conference in the world and it’s in our own backyard. The International Symposium on Human Identification is a place where the most respected in the industry can talk about emerging technologies.
The biggest topic on the agenda this year is forensic genealogy. Forensic genealogy is law enforcement going after unsolved crimes by utilizing databases through genealogy sites like Ancestory.com.