HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – It took 25 years for Edith Skinner’s killer to be arrested. Her son, Steve Skinner credits the state’s DNA squad with pinpointing Gerald Austin as the one who raped and murdered the 81-year old.
Investigators with the DNA squad found Austin and took a sample from him. That sample was then put into a database which linked him to the case. Her son says justice, after 25 years, was overwhelming.
Raleigh, N.C. — The director of the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory, which examines evidence in criminal investigations for law enforcement agencies across the state, says he hopes lawmakers will increase funding for the lab this year to help clear the backlog of cases in need of DNA testing.
Mar 29,2014 – Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Consideration of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2013
NIJ is seeking proposals for funds to help defray the costs associated with postconviction DNA testing in cases of violent felony offenses where actual innocence might be demonstrated.
It’s one of the most shameful numbers in American law enforcement: According to the Department of Justice, some 400,000 “rape kits” are languishing in evidence lockers across the country because local authorities can’t afford to process them. The kits, some of them dating back to the 1980s, contain DNA evidence that could convict rapists.
WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday promoted President Barack Obama’s request for $35 million to help test more rape kits, saying it will help fight crime.
The money is included in the $3.9 trillion spending plan for the 2015 budget year that Obama unveiled this week. It would be used to provide grants of unspecified amounts to states and local governments, spending that would require approval from Congress.
NIJ funding helped the Boston Police Department solve a rape and murder case almost 50 years after the crime.
Solving violent crimes requires good old-fashioned detective work, but time and money can make a big difference.Tacoma police have shown that with the number of cold case homicides they’ve resolved and sexual assault cases they’ve worked using a $225,000 grant the department received in late 2012.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is seeking applications for funding under the FY 2014 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program. This program furthers the Department’s mission by providing States and units of local government with tools needed to meet the challenges of crime and justice. Specifically, this program seeks to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner services, including services provided by laboratories operated by States and units of local government.
February 14, 2014 – The Biometrics Research Group, Inc. estimates that law enforcement spending on forensic DNA databases throughout North America will total approximately $750 million in 2015.
Typically, most of NIJ’s solicitations are released December through April (pending appropriations from Congress).
This preliminary list of solicitations will change over the coming weeks. When the solicitation is released, it will contain the name and contact information of the person managing the solicitation. To be fair and open in the competition, we do not discuss solicitations until they are published. Total funding for these solicitations will depend on the availability of funds.
Georgia prosecutors, the GBI and an unusual ally, the Georgia Innocence Project, hope a $424,000 federal grant will help solve some old cases as well as exonerate some people who were wrongly convicted.
On Wednesday, a High Court Judge made the claim and said the situation was “unacceptable” after he was told experts were refusing to accept any more police exhibits because they had reached their monthly quota.
In fiscal year 2013, NIJ made just under 350 awards for a total of approximately $145 million dollars. Awards were made:
In response to competitive solicitations.
Under one formula award program (DNA Backlog Reduction Program).
Under one solicitation producing both formula and competitive awards (Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program).
As continuations of previously competed awards from past fiscal years.
L AFAYETTE — The crime lab that analyzes DNA, blood, fingerprints and other evidence for Acadiana law enforcement agencies faces an uncertain future if more money cannot be found to shore up the lab’s budget.
“We don’t have the revenue to make it through 2015,” Acadiana Criminalistics Laboratory Director Kevin Ardoin said.