Monthly Archives: January 2015

$75,000 in private donations collected for Detroit rape kit testing in three weeks

Evidence Collection KitDETROIT, MI — Testing the 11,303 rape kits found forgotten in 2009 inside a Detroit Police Department warehouse is only a small part of what it will take to get justice for victims.
A public-private partnership formed earlier this month in an effort to raise $10 million over the next three years, with the goal of creating a 35-person rape-kit cold case team, including 25 investigators and 10 assistant prosecutors to do the rest of the work.

Paleolithic skull in Israel may shed light on humans’ path from Africa

Partial skull(CNN)—Neanderthals, meet modern humans. Modern humans, say hello to Neanderthals.
Now would you two care for a date?
That was possible some 55,000 years ago in modern-day Israel, archaeologists announced this week — a find that they say could be significant, since it could shed light on when and how our modern-day ancestors moved from Africa into Europe and Asia.

Connecticut man wrongly jailed for 21 years gets $6M award

DNA and justiceHARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A man who was wrongfully imprisoned for 21 years for the rape and killing of a mother of four was awarded $6 million Thursday from the state of Connecticut.
The state claims commissioner issued the award to 44-year-old Kenneth Ireland under Connecticut’s wrongful incarceration compensation law, saying in a report that “no words or dollar amount will suffice to give him back the time that he lost and the misery that he endured.”

More than 800 untested rape kits in Amarillo

Backlog of sexual assault kitsTens of thousands of boxes containing skin, hair, bodily fluids, have sat dormant on shelves for years—boxes of evidence documenting possibly the worst night of a person’s life.

Delayed DNA testing allowed alleged rapists to commit new crimes

dna_justiceHOUSTON (KTRK) — It was a celebration at Houston City Hall in October as Mayor Annise Parker and U.S. Senator John Cornyn surrounded by police officials, praised the city’s successful effort in clearing a three-decade backlog of DNA evidence of sexual assaults that had sat untested in a police evidence room.

Promega PowerPlex® Fusion 6C System Improves Mixture Interpretation with Difficult Forensic Casework Samples

Fusion-Systems-Banner_160x194MADISON, WIS. — Promega Corporation announces the release of the PowerPlex® Fusion 6C System, a 6-color, 27-locus multiplex. The system combines common and informative loci to overcome typical challenges faced by laboratories, including sample inhibitors, low levels of input DNA, degradation, and mixtures.

55,000-Year-Old Skull Sheds Light on Earliest Human Migration

CaveLong ago, humans left their evolutionary cradle in Africa and passed through the Middle East on their way to Europe. Now scientists have found the first fossil remains that appear to document that journey, a partial skull from an Israeli cave.

Department of Justice awards $21.6M in grants to AL agencies, cities

Justice DeptMONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – Last year the Department of Justice awarded a total of $21.6 million in grant money to Alabama agencies and cities in the Middle District of Alabama to be used for crime prevention and victim services, according to U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division, the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, and the Alabama Board of Pardons and Pardons received large grants.

Demand for DNA testing overwhelms DPS labs

colored vertical helixTexas Department of Public Safety labs are coping with an abundance of evidence testing submissions, an issue that mirrors a situation faced by federal agencies about 20 years ago. For years, law enforcement agencies relied on the Federal Bureau of Investigation for evidence testing, but as the practice of DNA analysis grew, the FBI became overwhelmed with evidence to process.

Man Wrongly Convicted 4 Decades Ago Freed From Prison

SledgeJoseph Sledge, 70, addresses members of the media after being released from jail in Columbus County, N.C., on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, after serving nearly four decades behind bars for two slayings he didn’t commit.

Maryland man sentenced to 100 years in rape seeks reversal from US Supreme Court

helix10BALTIMORE — A man convicted of raping his former roommate is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the conviction and his 100-year-prison sentence.
In papers filed Tuesday with the high court, Glenn Raynor says Maryland State Police violated his rights by testing DNA in his sweat, which was collected from a chair he had been sitting in during a voluntary interview at a police barracks.

Seattle Police to start DNA testing on more than 12 stored rape kits

sexual assault kitsIn a move being applauded by victim-advocacy groups, The Seattle Police Department will begin testing the 1,276 rape kits it has stored.

Privatisation of forensic services ‘threat to justice’ and putting the work in police hands would be ‘disastrous,’ warn experts

Forensic TeamUK- Criminal trials could collapse because of a potential failure to supply courts with DNA and scientific evidence following spending cuts and the Government’s troubled privatisation of forensic science services, a new report by the spending watchdog reveals today.

Rape Kit Testing Leading to Indictments in Memphis

DNA HelixMEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Officials say nearly 5,000 of 12,000 backlogged rape evidence kits have been tested in Memphis, leading to dozens of indictments.

IUPUI Rape May Spark Change to Indiana Law

Gavel and handcuffsA 2005 rape at IUPUI may lead to a change in Indiana’s statute of limitations.
Last year, a former teaching assistant at IUPUI walked into the Marion County sheriff’s office and confessed to a sexual assault eight years earlier. But prosecutors couldn’t charge him, because it was three years past the time limit for bringing charges.