Category Archives: DNA Legislation

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.

NIST Urges Caution in Use of Courtroom Evidence Presentation Method

Two experts at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are calling into question a method of presenting evidence in courtrooms, arguing that it risks allowing personal preference to creep into expert testimony and potentially distorts evidence for a jury.

Familial DNA Approved In New York State

The parents of slain jogger Karina Vetrano received further solace on Friday after the New York State Commission on Forensic Science announced that the familial-DNA genetic search tool can now be utilized in the state.
Phil and Cathy Vetrano had been advocates of the policy for months; they held a press conference on February 3 during which they endorsed the tool, which searches law-enforcement DNA databases for relatives of a genetic profile that forensics build at the scene of a crime.

Virginia deserves applause for its work to eliminate a rape kit backlog

NOTHING IS a more powerful symbol of the failure of the criminal justice system to take sexual assault seriously than the tens of thousands of rape kits that languish — untested — in police departments and crime labs across the country. So when authorities undertake to eliminate the existing backlog and prevent future ones, it is a sign of a new approach that prioritizes getting justice for victims and holding offenders accountable. That is what is happening in Virginia, and it should be applauded.

Pennsylvania bill would expand DNA law

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation to expand the state’s DNA database.
State Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) said his proposal would permit the taking of DNA samples from people convicted of serious misdemeanors.
The current database, with few exceptions, includes only those convicted of felonies. Marsico said that allows people who committed serious unsolved crime to “fly below the radar.”

Governor Signs Bills That Help Law Enforcement Build Cases

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Indiana prosecutors participated today in the signing by Governor Eric Holcomb of two bills that are considered essential to law enforcement’s ability to build criminal cases for conviction of wrongdoers.
SEA 322 requires every person arrested for a felony to submit a DNA sample. DNA collection is a powerful criminal justice tool that can exonerate the innocent and provide identification of the guilty. A long list of sponsors supported the bill, including Sen. Erin Houchin, Rep. Wendy McNamara, Rep. Patrick Bauer, Sen. Randy Head, Rep. Donna Schaibley and Sen. Jack Sandlin.

Gov. Eric Holcomb signs DNA collection bill

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law Friday a bill that allows the collection of DNA from those arrested on felony charges.
Senate Enrolled Act 322 requires anyone arrested for a felony after Dec. 31, 2017, to submit a DNA sample via cheek swab. It further stipulates that the sample may not be shipped for identification unless the person was arrested on a warrant or probable cause has been found for a felony arrest.

Forensics: Germany considers wider use of DNA evidence in criminal cases

Behind closed doors this week, the German federal justice ministry has been discussing whether to hand police a powerful new tool involving the analysis of DNA samples. The debate is a direct consequence of the rape and murder of a medical student in Freiburg last October.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Limits Postconviction DNA Testing of Evidence

March 3, 2017 – Convicted of murder in the early 1980s, Jeffrey Denny filed a postconviction motion in 2014, claiming he was entitled to forensic DNA testing of evidence from the crime scene. Recently, the state supreme court said he was not.
In State v. Denny, 2017 WI 17 (Feb. 28, 2017), a 4-3 majority ruled that Denny did not meet the statutory requirements for postconviction DNA testing at public expense. And a 5-2 majority overruled a 2005 decision that allowed DNA testing at private expense when a person does not satisfy requirements for publicly funded DNA testing.

Sexual assault survivor hopeful Indiana arrestee DNA bill will become law

helix9(WHAS11) — Indiana appears headed to pass a DNA bill that would require samples from felony suspects. Supporters suggest it could prevent crime and catch killers and rapists.
Senate Bill 322 and House Bill 1577 are similar to a plan that has failed in Kentucky.