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Sunday, July 05, 2015

Ind. Courts - "Limits at DNA lab add twist to cases"

Rebecca S. Green reports today, in a long Fort Wayne Journal Gazette story, about restrictions on the usage of the Indiana state police crime lab analysis, which is:

... part of the sorting all crime scene technicians engage in at crime scenes large and small. And they are limited as to what potentially important items they can send off to the Indiana State Police crime lab for DNA analysis.

If it is a garden-variety burglary, they can send two items to the lab.

But if it is a homicide, they can send up to 10 items, and then the appropriate DNA standard requests. DNA standards are known samples of DNA used to identify specific people, such as suspects, witnesses, victims, etc.

Sexual assault investigations allow the rape kit and DNA standards. If no rape kit, up to three items and standards.

For other crimes against a person, such as aggravated battery or attempted murder, the total number submitted is four, plus standards.

The state police crime lab is a finite resource, one plagued in the past by backlogs and delays. The limits on evidence submission keep things moving more smoothly, but to jurors used to their forensic evidence-heavy TV shows and movies, the limits might sound jarring.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 5, 2015 07:48 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts