Category Archives: DNA Legislation

Rape kit testing in Louisiana

LA Supreme CourtIn 2010, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) hailed the arrest of Jimmie Spratt, who was charged with raping three women in New Orleans — in 1994.
It took more than a decade after the crimes for law enforcement agencies to enter DNA evidence collected from rape kits into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), which links federal, state and local criminal justice agencies. Before he was extradited to New Orleans, Spratt was serving time in Tennessee for another four aggravated rapes he committed in Memphis.

Congressman Asks FBI to Reduce Backlog of Untested Rape Kits

human idInformation provided by Office of Congressman Mike Honda—
During the March 26 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies subcommittee hearing of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) asked FBI Director James Comey to allow private labs to help process the backlog of rape kits that remain untested. The information learned in these tests is critical in identifying the assailants in these cases. It is estimated that as many as 500,000 rape kits across America are waiting to be tested.

Reps. Maloney and Bass working to end rape kit testing backlog with Debbie Smith Act reauthorization

justice and DNA2WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has joined forces with House Judiciary Committee member Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers to pass the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 3423). The committee today held a markup on the bill to extend the federal DNA backlog processing grant program through 2019. The original Debbie Smith Act was authored by Congresswoman Maloney and signed into law in 2004 as part of the Justice for All Act.

New law limits DNA collection in Idaho

Justice and DNA1BOISE — In a legislative session filled with controversy and tension, one bill made it through the legislature without one dissenting vote.
Senate Bill 1240a, written by Republican Senator Jim Rice, Democrat Senator Elliot Werk, and Republican Representative Lynn Luker, aims to protect Idahoans’ privacy by limiting when law enforcement can collect DNA samples.

Wisconsin Assembly votes to limit DNA collection only to violent felonies

CourtMADISON, Wisconsin — DNA would be collected only from people arrested for violent felonies like rape and assault under a bill that has passed the state Assembly.

California DNA collection law upheld

Criminalist PatelAnyone arrested for a felony in California can now expect both an unpleasant trip to jail and a demand for a sample of their precious DNA.
To the dismay of civil liberties advocates, a federal appeals court on Thursday unanimously upheld California’s law allowing collection of DNA samples from anyone arrested on a felony, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year backing a similar Maryland law. A special 11-judge 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel rejected the American Civil Liberties Union’s argument that California’s law is broader than Maryland’s and threatens privacy rights more.

Workshops announced for ISHI 25

ISHI ArizonaAre you looking for more information on probabilistic software packages? Perhaps you are curious about the latest advances in next-generation sequencing, or complex relationship statistics.
The workshops offered at ISHI 25 will answer these questions and more.
Sign up for one or more of the 9 workshops to be offered at the International Symposium on Human Identification this fall in Phoenix, Arizona. Find the details at:

RI Senate to vote on expanded DNA collection

Helix4PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The Rhode Island Senate is poised to vote on a proposal to require DNA samples from anyone arrested for a violent crime.
The proposal from Sen. David Bates would significantly expand the state’s DNA collection law, which now requires DNA samples from anyone convicted of a felony.

DNA database moves a step closer

DNA ProfilesSome seven years on from when the system was first proposed, the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Bill 2013 completed its committee stage yesterday.

Utah lawmakers pass bill allowing DNA sampling upon felony bookings

Utah Cap BldgSALT LAKE CITY — State lawmakers have approved a law that would allow police in Utah to collect DNA samples from people booked into jail on any felony charge.
Elizabeth Smart was among several crime victims who testified in favor of HB212, sponsored by Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy.

Justice Committee to discuss Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Bill 2013

GATC and tubeIreland-The Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Bill 2013 will be the focus of the Select Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality tomorrow when it meets with Minister for Justice and Equality Alan Shatter TD.

Senate quickly makes unexpected changes to DNA-collection law

CourtMadison WI — In a surprise move, state senators with little debate on Tuesday voted to change a law they passed last year that requires police to collect DNA when they arrest suspects for felonies.

Ga. bill looks to expand DNA sampling for suspects

Georgia cold casesAUGUSTA, Ga.–The state of Georgia could soon start collecting DNA from accused felons before they’re ever convicted of any crime. It’s part of Senate Bill 135. The DNA would go into the statewide database in hopes of solving more crimes and exonerating people serving time for crimes they didn’t commit.

House approves bill to remove statute of limitations on sex assault cases

Justice and DNA1DENVER — A proposal that would eliminate statutes of limitations for offenses committed during sexual assaults passed the full House on Thursday morning.

Joe Biden promotes $35M proposal to test rape kits

rapekit backlogWASHINGTON — 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.