This episode of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) "Just So You Know" podcast series consists of an interview with Chris Asplen, the Executive Director of the National Criminal Justice Association, in which he discusses the proceedings of the 2017 Rapid DNA forum.
This forum, which was attended by just over 130 representatives from the forensic DNA community, updated attendees on commercially available rapid DNA technologies. Presentations by several early adopters of rapid DNA were provided by forensic scientists from both local law enforcement and federal agencies. The forum held discussions of how to move forward in the use of rapid DNA. Chris Asplen, one of the forum presenters discusses how rapid DNA is progressing slowly, but is certain to save jurisdictions time and money. Asplen notes that there has been a reluctance to rely too much on rapid DNA technology until its reliability and usefulness have been established. He notes that its acceptance has increased due to clear evidence that it improves the efficiency of investigations, since suspects can be included or excluded earlier in an investigation without having to wait for the slower, traditional, but more precise DNA analysis in the laboratory. Asplen notes that any misidentifications from rapid DNA analysis can be corrected through a more precise analysis in a laboratory setting. Misidentifications should not preclude the early investigative elimination or inclusion of suspects that is possible with rapid DNA technology.