DNA Evidence Exonerates D.C. Man Convicted Of Murder, Rape After FBI Error 30 Years Ago

justicescalesA D.C. man convicted of raping and murdering a woman in 1982 has been exonerated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office due to new DNA testing that proved his innocence.

Cleveland has cleared backlog of 3,985 untested rape kits

sexual assault kitsCLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland police have sent the last of 3,985 rape kits to the state crime lab for testing, clearing a backlog of untested sexual assault evidence stretching back to 1993.

York Co. Sheriff’s Office DNA lab earns inagural accreditation

York CoAfter three years, the York County Sheriff’s Office DNA Laboratory is now open.
The laboratory received from Forensic Quality Services that it has achieved accreditation under the global basis for laboratory accreditation in management and technical requirements.

Pasadena crime lab funded for another year

Helix4Although Mayor Johnny Isbell downplayed reports police officials were considering a proposal to close the Pasadena Police Crime Lab to allow the Houston Police Department to take over and run a satellite facility, several City Councilmembers spoke out against the idea during discussions related to the proposed budget for the Pasadena Crime Control and Prevention District (PCCPD) recently.

The impossible challenge of identifying bodies from MH17

Emergency workers at crashsiteReturning the 298 victims from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 to their families with dignity and respect is a major priority for each nation involved.
Disaster victim identification is a difficult task, but will be made even more challenging in this instance given the delays in body recovery and the interference of the crash site that is said to span more than a six-mile area, including within a combat zone.

New criminal forensics laboratory rapidly rising

Louisiana For Sci CenterFormer medical student housing on Linwood Avenue, opposite Forest Park Cemetery just south of Claiborne Avenue, was demolished several years ago and now is the site for a rising North Louisiana Forensic Science Center.

Jakarta police takes DNA samples of MH-17 crash victims` families

MH 17Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Jakarta Metro Jaya Police Officers have taken DNA samples of the families of the crash victims of Malaysian Airlines MH-17.
“We have collected DNA samples that will be sent to Ukraine on Friday evening for identification in the crash site,” said Metro Jaya Police Departments Head of Medicine and Health Affairs Senior Commissioner Musyafak here on Friday.

Two dozen DNA matches found in first 150 rape kits tested under new law

sexual assault kitsDENVER – One year after the implementation of a new law prompted by a CALL7 investigation, officials say they have already found DNA matches by analyzing previously-untested rape kits.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation said Thursday it had received results back from testing its first batch of 150 rape kits — which represents less than 5 percent of all untested kits statewide — which were outsourced to four labs throughout the country. From those 150 kits, CBI was able to develop 60 DNA profiles and upload them into CODIS, a national DNA database used by law enforcement to identity offenders and help solve crimes.

From the Minister of State for Crime Prevention (Norman Baker) UK

dna12“I am today announcing arrangements for the appointment of the Forensic Science Regulator. Following an open competition adhering to the principles of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. I have decided to appoint Dr Gillian Tully. Her 3-year term of appointment will commence on 17 November 2014.”

NIST Webinar to Cover Validation of Forensic DNA Testing Technologies

NIST LogoForensic DNA analysts and other interested stakeholders are invited to participate in a free NIST webinar on validation concepts and resources on Aug. 6, 2014, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., ET.

Investigators blast Justice Dept.’s handling of FBI crime lab problems

Justice Building PlaqueWASHINGTON — Investigators on Wednesday sharply criticized the Justice Department’s handling of old FBI crime lab problems.In a sweeping, 138-page report, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General cited “serious deficiencies” in the work of the task force assigned in 1996 to follow up on potentially troublesome crime lab cases. In some instances, the problems associated with 13 specific lab workers were a matter of life and death.

State needs to address lag in DNA testing

On television, DNA tests come back in 15 minutes. In real life, at least in North Carolina, it may take two years. Just ask Marianne Ortega.Crimescene DNA Tests
DNA testing has become increasingly important in both murder and sexual assault cases. It has proven to be a reliable tool in convicting the guilty and clearing the innocent. But that is true only if test results are available.

NIST Names Members of Forensic Science Resource Committees

fssbAn initiative to strengthen and bring uniformity to forensic science standards took another step forward today as the National Institute of Standards and Technology appointed 35 new members to the Organization for Scientific Area Committees (OSAC).

Integrating LIMS and evidence management

analyst2While the property room in a police department is usually the sole overseer of evidence, the forensic lab—located either inside or outside of the department—shares this responsibility, too. The lab performs testing and analysis of evidence, and then documents findings. Without the ability to automate its operations, a forensic lab can quickly become overwhelmed and backlogs of evidence can balloon.

New state DNA law could help wrongly convicted

DNA 8DNA collections from individuals arrested for violent crime could help solve crime and it could exonerate those wrongly convicted.