The Idaho Innocence Project will benefit from a $630,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant to test DNA in possible wrongful-conviction cases.
But none of the money can be used on Idaho cases, and the grant had to be given to Boise State University.
It was one of those ugly, unsolved crimes that seem to haunt many neighborhoods in New York City: In February 1993, a man with a knife abducted an 11-year-old girl in an apartment building hallway in the Hamilton Heights section of Manhattan, forced her to the roof and sexually assaulted her.
The girl was taken to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, where nurses gathered physical evidence from her body, but no one was ever arrested. The DNA of her attacker was not even tested until 2002, when the city undertook a project to clear a backlog of rape-evidence kits.
Investigators all over Wisconsin will now have to find a new lab, and the other options will cost them money, and cost them time trying to solve certain cases. “If it’s the FBI and it’s not a pressing matter might take years to complete,” Simley said.
Scientist pick up unidentified human remains to analyze in the Missing Persons Lab at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas on July 15, 2014
The largest lab that tests DNA for missing people and unidentified dead no longer will accept DNA samples from law enforcement agencies and crime laboratories across the country because of a nearly $1 million cut to its funding.
Without the funding, which came through a federal grant, the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification cannot afford to process DNA samples that come from agencies outside Texas. The lab estimates that it received more than 1,200 out-of-state samples last year, which accounted for nearly 80 percent of its work.
The Senate unanimously passed the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016, bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) to reauthorize programs within the Department of Justice to improve the accuracy and integrity of the criminal justice system, and ensure public confidence in our legal system by investing in cutting-edge DNA testing and forensic technology.
Researchers at FIU’s International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI) have been awarded $1.5 million from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to further research in drug exposure detection, crime scene investigation, synthetic cannabinoids and DNA analysis.
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are positioned to devote $45 million in the 2016 fiscal year to combat the nation’s accumulation of untested sexual assault kits.
The funding, included as part of the omnibus spending bill Congress released Wednesday, is aimed at helping local law enforcement agencies test backlogged sexual assault evidence kits and perform related activities as part of a U.S. Justice Department initiative.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice (NIJ) today announced that it has awarded more than $29 million in research and development funding to over 60 recipients who proposed work designed to strengthen forensic science and advance criminal justice policy and practice.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the award of approximately $38 million in grants to 32 jurisdictions in 20 states across the United States to eliminate backlogs of untested sexual assault evidence kits, or “rape kits.” The two-year awards, ranging in amount from approximately $97,000 to $2 million, will help test an estimated 56,475 rape kits, generating DNA evidence that will help solve cases across the country.
ATLANTA (WXIA) — The GBI will get nearly two million dollars to eliminate a backlog of untested rape kits, officials said Thursday. The grant could solve a nagging problem which left rape cases in limbo — often for years — because evidence hadn’t been tested and analyzed.
For years, they’ve been collecting dust — tens of thousands of evidence kits that could lead police to serial rapists but have never been tested.
But now, almost $80 million is being earmarked to help clear the massive backlog and hopefully get justice for sexual assault survivors.
“We have two sides to the coin,” Fenger said. “We’re trying to provide excellent service to help victims of crime, all types of crime, primarily through digital forensics and DNA, and the same time there’s budget cuts that are based on true deficiencies in the state budget, with coal no longer providing as much revenue as the past.”
The Department of Justice is insisting that it has no specific appropriation from Congress to fund the testing of rape kits around the country, even though some members of Congress say Justice should have funding from the huge omnibus spending bill from late last year.
Last week, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, accused Justice of failing to fund the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Program, even though Congress authorized that program in 2013, and funded it in 2014.
NEW YORK – The Joyful Heart Foundation expressed its gratitude to the members of the U.S. House of Representatives who included $45 million to address the nation’s rape kit backlog in the FY16 spending bill, which passed today. The final funding passed includes an additional $4 million above the President’s request – the result of an amendment sponsored by champions Rep. Steve Cohen and Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University has been awarded a five-year, up to $20 million grant to establish a Forensic Science Center of Excellence.