Category Archives: DNA Legislation

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.

Hatch, Feinstein, Sensenbrenner, and Swalwell Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Rapid DNA Legislation

feinstein-swalwellWASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Rapid DNA Act. This legislation would establish a system to enable law enforcement officials to use Rapid DNA instruments to help reduce DNA backlogs. Unlike traditional DNA analysis, which can take weeks, Rapid DNA analysis permits processing of DNA samples in approximately 90 minutes or less.

NY lawmakers OK deadlines for rape kit processing

colored vertical helixolice must submit rape kits containing DNA evidence to laboratories within 10 days of collecting it under legislation heading to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk. The bill also requires labs to process evidence within 90 days and calls for clearing any backlog of the evidence kits, which can be used to…

Hatch bill to enable local police access to FBI DNA database clears Senate

Blue Helix2The Senate approved bipartisan legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on Friday to modernize the nation’s DNA laws and enable local police to upload samples to an FBI database.
The Rapid DNA Act, S. 2348, was designed to enable local police to quickly determine whether a suspect is connected to a crime using the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database.

Sen. Hatch’s “Rapid DNA Act” would have local law enforcement taking DNA samples at booking

Helix and MagnifierSALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – A shot in the arm for crime investigations across the state. Senator Orrin Hatch has co-proposed legislation allowing police officers to take DNA samples themselves to see if they have a criminal in their custody.
It’s called the Rapid DNA Act. The idea is if police have a suspect charged with a felony they can take his or her DNA with a simple mouth swab and put the sample straight into the FBI’s database. Local law enforcement say this could cut months out of their investigation time and possibly solve crimes they couldn’t have otherwise.

Bill Would Require Dna Samples From Americans When Sponsoring Family Visas

swabA new immigration bill under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee would impose unprecedented restrictions on U.S. citizens seeking to sponsor the immigration of their family members, requiring that all parties submit to mandatory DNA testing as part of their visa applications.

N.Y.’s Top Court Raises Bar for DNA Evidence

Helix4MANHATTAN (CN) — Although DNA testing gave less than one-in-a-trillion odds that police collared the wrong gun suspect, it was “science fiction” for prosecutors to try to admit this evidence without testimony from the analyst who conducted it, New York’s Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

Kuwait Becomes First Country To Collect DNA Samples From All Citizens And Visitors: Report

KuwaitKuwait is set to become the first country in the world to require all its citizens, visitors and expatriates to provide DNA samples for the government’s database, according to a report.
In July 2015, the Kuwaiti government passed the DNA testing law, which is set to go into effect later this year, according to the Kuwait Times. The DNA samples of at least 3.3 million people—gotten from saliva or few drops of blood—will be stored in a lab at the General Department of Criminal Evidence in Dajeej, a suburb about 12 miles south of Kuwait City.