New Federal DNA Collection Regulations Implemented

dna

Final regulations promulgated to expand the federal DNA database to include collected samples from persons arrested under federal authority and from illegal immigrants in federal detention; the regulations will also preserve biological evidence in federal criminal cases for defendants are under sentences of imprisonment

DNA evidence can be used as evidence in support of a conviction or acquittal, as indicaterd in the following media stories:

<>ul>

  • “DNA Exoneree Makes Up For Lost Time,” MSNBC (Jan. 25, 2009) (“Waller was one of the first people to apply for post-conviction DNA testing after it became available in 2001. He was denied and spent several more years in prison, until Dallas County elected a new district attorney, Craig Watkins, who made it a priority to free wrongly-convicted prisoners.”)
  • “An Acquittal After 15 Years on Death Row,” New York Times (Dec. 6, 2007) (“DNA tests in 2001 showed that a hair used to place Mr. McCormick at the scene of the killing could not be his.”)
  • “Rowland Heights serial killer admits third slaying and avoids death sentence,” Whittier Daily News (Jan. 24, 2009) (“Wayne Harvey Smith, was sentenced this month to life in prison without the possiblity of parole for the killing after DNA evidence connected him to the crime.”)
  • The federal government is expanding the collection of DNA samples based on new regulations. Previously, the federal government collected DNA samples from individuals who had convicted of a certain federal offenses.

    On January 9, 2009, final regulations for the federal collection of DNA samples from persons arrested under federal authority and from illegal immigrants in federal detention. The new regulations generally provide for the collection of DNA samples “from individuals who are arrested, facing charges, or convicted, and from non-United States persons who are detained under the authority of the United States.” The DNA samples would normally be obtained as part of the booking process.

    The new regulation also finalizes two interim rules. The first provides for the collection of DNA samples from all convicted federal felons, including certain misdemeanors. The second concerns regulations for the preservation of biological evidence in federal criminal cases for defendants are under sentences of imprisonment. For more information on the new regulation, see DNA-Sample Collection and Biological Evidence Preservation in the Federal Jurisdiction Final Rule.

    Note: DNA Evidence has been the subject of other posts on the Federal Evidence Blog.

    Federal Rules of Evidence
PDF