Category Archives: DNA Legislation

Northam signs bills expanding DNA, fingerprint databases in wake of Graham case

Standing underneath a projection of their daughter’s high school senior portrait, Hannah Graham’s parents watched Gov. Ralph Northam sign legislation they hope will help prevent violent crimes similar to the one that took their daughter.
More than three years after the University of Virginia second year was abducted and murdered, state legislators this year passed two bills that mandate DNA analysis for people convicted of misdemeanor criminal trespassing or assault and battery.

Judge tosses out some DNA evidence allegedly tied to death of student from Portland

AUSTIN — A judge has tossed out some DNA evidence that prosecutors planned to present at the trial for the man charged with with killing a University of Texas student on campus in 2016, KVUE’s news partners at the Austin American-Statesman report.
Meechaiel Criner appeared in court Monday and Tuesday where a discussion regarding the DNA collection software used during the investigation unfolded.

France puts British security at risk by blocking UK’s bid to remain part of EU criminal security system that shares DNA, vehicle and fingerprint data

France is obstructing Britain’s bid to remain in an EU security network that helps members catch foreign criminals.
The UK government wants continued access to a shared database that helped French and Belgian authorities identify the terrorists responsible for the Paris attacks in November 2015.
Ministers have said Britain’s ability to access and share vital DNA, fingerprint and vehicle data under the so-called Prum convention is ‘clearly in the national interest’.
But France led the resistance against Britain’s efforts to join a ‘Prum 2’ at a recent meeting to discuss security after Brexit.

In Germany, controversial law gives Bavarian police new power to use DNA

Police in the German state of Bavaria will have new powers to use forensic DNA profiling after a controversial law passed today in the Landtag, the state parliament in Munich. The law is the first in Germany that allows authorities to use DNA to help determine the physical characteristics, such as eye color, of an unknown culprit.
The new DNA rules are part of a broader law which has drawn criticism of the wide surveillance powers it gives the state’s police to investigate people they deem an “imminent danger,” people who haven’t necessarily committed any crimes but might be planning to do so.

May 25 Is Landmark Day For Bills That Target Backlog of Untested Rape Kits

On May 25, the state Senate Appropriations Committee will decide if two bills that would demand the speedy testing of California’s large backlog of rape kits and the timely testing of all newly-collected rape kits will move forward.
AB3118 requires the first-ever statewide inventory of untested rape kits in California. At present, state officials have no idea how many kits are sitting on shelves across the state.

Ohio legislation seeks to eliminate statute of limitations on sexual assault cases

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -It’s a healing environment for sexual assault victims. A place where survivors can tell their story when no one else will listen.
Jennifer Schlosser is with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and is glad that legislation is being proposed to remove the statute of limitations on sexual assault cases in Ohio.

How the Supreme Court Could Rewrite the Rules for DNA Searches

Several years ago, the Supreme Court considered the case of Alonzo Jay King Jr. Arrested in an assault in Maryland, he ended up being charged and convicted in an unsolved rape case after a sample of his DNA, which police collected while booking him, returned a match in a statewide database. King, who had been sentenced to life in prison, argued that the Maryland law allowing the warrantless, suspicionless collection of his DNA violated the Fourth Amendment.

National group praises signing of DNA bill

Governor Justice signed the bill last week. The bill allows the West Virginia State Police to contract with the Marshall University Forensic Science Center to process lab work related to the testing of offender samples for the Combined DNA Index System, and DNA testing in criminal paternity cases, criminal casework and identification of human remains.
It also sets parameters in which law enforcement and correctional officers can use reasonable force to obtain DNA samples and allows for collection of mouth swabs.

Calif. Supreme Court upholds law forcing arrestees to give DNA samples

April 3 (UPI) — The California Supreme Court on Monday held up a controversial state law that allows law enforcement officers to take DNA from anybody arrested or charged with a felony.
In a 4-3 vote, the court ruled in favor of the law, which has allowed California law enforcement officials to create a DNA database of tens of thousands of people who were arrested but never charged or convicted.

Tyrone Noling case: Ohio Supreme Court rules on DNA evidence

CLEVELAND, Ohio – In a decision issued today, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that death row inmate Tyrone Noling can have access to only part of the powerful DNA evidence his legal team says could point to another killer.

Brianna’s Law has matched more than 1,000 DNA samples to crimes

There are crimes uncommitted because of Brianna Denison.
Denison, a 19-year-old college student who was raped and murdered in Reno in 2008, became the catalyst for a Nevada law that is preventing and solving crimes.
The law passed in 2013 requires that DNA from people arrested on felony charges in Nevada be collected and entered into a database.

Judging the Quality of Forensic Evidence

While NIST is not a teaching institution per se, teaching comes naturally to many of us who work here. We’re always describing our work in scientific meetings, so it’s not a giant leap to actually teach courses on what we do, though it’s perhaps a little more challenging to teach people about technical subjects they’re not familiar with. And that’s especially true when your students are judges whose understanding of the power and limits of certain types of forensic evidence can have such a profound effect on the lives of others.

Virginia crime commission backs expansion of DNA databank, does not vote on decriminalization of marijuana possession

If it becomes law, the DNA-related legislation could add a half-dozen or more misdemeanors — including assault and battery, domestic assault, petit larceny, trespassing and destruction of property, obstruction of justice and shoplifting — to the list of crimes that require a DNA sample from a convicted offender.

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).

Proposed initiative would end early release for some crimes, allow more DNA collection

A coalition including police officers and prosecutors on Monday proposed a California state initiative that would end early release of rapists and child traffickers and expand the number of crimes for which authorities could collect DNA samples from those convicted.