Category Archives: DNA Legislation

In rare move, DuPage indicts DNA profile of unknown person suspected in death of ‘Baby Hope,’ infant found dead near Wheaton

On Aug. 15, 2016, landscapers working along Plamondon Road in an unincorporated area near Wheaton found the dead, full-term newborn in a backpack along the roadside. Since then, the DuPage County sheriff’s office has been investigating to learn the identity of the baby and what happened to her.

Illinois becomes 8th state to lift sex-crime prosecution time limit

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation Friday that makes Illinois the eighth state to remove time restrictions on prosecuting crimes of sexual violence.
The Democrat signed into law a measure that lifts a 10-year statute of limitations on pressing charges in felony cases of sexual assault and sexual abuse.

Idaho will now test all rape kits. It could lead to more convictions, trust of police

BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — After three years of implementing regulations around the testing and tracking of sexual assault evidence kits, law went into place on Monday that mandates the testing of all kits, with very rare exceptions.

DNA testing companies launch new privacy coalition

Genetic testing companies are forming a new coalition on best practices for handling DNA information and to promote the industry in Washington as lawmakers put more scrutiny on their privacy practices.
Three companies — Ancestry, 23andMe and Helix, which provide DNA testing and analysis — formed the Coalition for Genetic Data Protection, first reported by The Hill.

New Louisiana Law Allows Expert Testimony on the Flaws of Eyewitness Accounts of Crimes

The idea behind the law is to help prevent wrongful convictions based on eyewitness testimony. Forty-eight states already have similar laws on the books, and the federal court system already permits expert testimony on the subject.

Bill requiring Illinois State Police to perform rapid DNA testing passes Senate

CHICAGO (WLS) — Action is being taken to reduce delays in testing DNA evidence that’s sitting unchecked.
A bipartisan state bill to implement “Rapid DNA” had already passed in the House, and on Tuesday, it passed unanimously in the Senate.

Texas Senate approves DNA collection on violent arrests

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Wednesday night, the Senate passed House Bill 1399, a bill allowing law enforcement to collect DNA samples of people they arrest for violent crimes like murder, rape, and assault.

Sex assault charge dismissed in cold case as attorneys wrangle over DNA evidence

MARINETTE – The first-degree sexual assault charge filed against a northern Oconto County man accused of a double homicide nearly 43 years ago was dismissed Monday at hearing where defense attorneys signaled an intent to aggressively fight DNA evidence in the case.
Marinette County District Attorney DeShea Morrow did not dispute a defense motion to dismiss the charge against Raymond L. Vannieuwenhoven, which noted the statute of limitations had expired after six years.

Can Criminal Defendants Review DNA Analysis Software Used to Prosecute Them?

Fresno – On Wednesday, May 22, at 9 am, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will argue that criminal defendants have a right to review and evaluate the source code of forensic DNA analysis software programs used to create evidence against them. The case, California v. Johnson, is on appeal to a California appeals court.

DNA is cracking mysteries and cold cases. But is genome sleuthing the ‘unregulated wild west?’

It happens almost every week: Police reveal that DNA technology has helped them crack a decades-old case or identify an infamous serial killer like Jack the Ripper.
Investigators have been using criminal DNA databases for decades, but commercial genealogy sites like Ancestry.com and 23andMe have revolutionized the industry. Now people can make their own genetic material public, and when law enforcement use that information to solve crimes, it can raise serious questions about privacy.

Lopez Bill to Require DNA Sample Collection for Child Pornography Arrests Clears Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Under a measure (A-4677) passed by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee Monday, a DNA sample would be required to be collected from a person arrested for endangering the welfare of a child by committing a child pornography offense.

Senators Dianne Feinstein and John Cornyn Announce Debbie Smith Act Reauthorization Bill to Fight Nationwide Rape Kit Backlog Passes Committee

May 7, 2019 – Washington – Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) released the following statements after the Debbie Smith Act of 2019 passed out of the Senate Dianne FeinsteinJudiciary Committee:

Closed case DNA bill passes Kansas Legislature

A bill that would expand DNA searches to closed cases has passed the Kansas Legislature.
According to State Sen. David Haley, D-4th Dist., who advocated for the bill, Senate Bill 102 was bundled with another measure and passed with only minor changes from the original bill.

The US Urgently Needs New Genetic Privacy Laws

TWENTY YEARS AGO, you had about a 1 in 6 billion chance of knowing someone who’d had their DNA sequenced. Today, almost every American can name someone who’s had some form of genetic testing.

California Court Urged to Advance Case Against State Retention of DNA Profiles of Innocent People

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– NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The San Francisco County Superior Court today will hear arguments in a case challenging California law enforcement’s practice of retaining DNA profiles of individuals arrested for a felony.
The lawsuit, brought by the Center for Genetics and Society, the Equal Justice Society, and Pete Shanks against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the California Department of Justice, alleges that law enforcement’s practice of taking DNA samples from arrestees suspected of a felony and retaining the profiles in a database, even if they’re never charged or convicted, violates privacy protections and restrictions on unreasonable searches and seizures in California’s constitution.