This report on the proceedings of the third meeting of the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence contains individual presentations and reports by the Commission's working groups, accompanied by Commission members' questions and discussion.
An update on the Commission's work by the executive director focused on some of the ways Commission representatives have communicated the nature and progress of the Commission's work to individuals and organizations. The report by the Research and Development Working Group indicated it had met a few times, but made little progress. The group had reached some tentative consensus on a few issues, but no formal action has been taken. The first assignment set by this working group is to do some DNA technology projections for the next 2, 5, and 10 years. A panel discussion was conducted with members of the Post-conviction Working Group. The discussion focused on the types of cases in which advances in DNA technology might provide evidence that challenges the outcomes of cases disposed with a conviction. Next, the Director of the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory presented a paper on "Database Prioritization," which focused on the four kinds of DNA backlogs; prioritization concepts for them; and some issues, strategies, and needs related to them. The Crime Scene Investigation Working Group report presented findings from site visits to various law enforcement agencies and their evidence processing and analysis labs. The Working Group reported that the competency of those collecting, processing, and analyzing DNA evidence varied widely throughout the Nation, meaning that the use of DNA technology in crime scene investigations differs significantly across jurisdictions. Other topics addressed in the Commission meeting were "Roadblocks to CODIS: High Throughput Collection and Accessioning of Convicted Offender Samples," the Laboratory Funding Issues Working Group Report, and the Legal Issues Working Group report and discussion on the CODIS offender database backlog reduction. The transcript is provided for all participant comments and questions.
Date Published: November 1, 1998
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