This report on the proceedings of the fifth meeting of the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence updates Commission business and presents reports from the Commission's working groups.
After presenting the meeting's agenda and preliminary remarks from the chairperson, an update on Commission business reports on Commission CODIS recommendations presented to the Attorney General, which focused on the size of the commitment needed now under the current situation, with a commitment to continued re-evaluation of reductions in the backlog. The Director of the Center for Information Technology and Privacy Law at the John Marshall Law School then discussed DNA in connection with identification, specifically regarding privacy issues involved. The Legal Issues Working Group report and discussion featured a presentation on the constitutional issues involved in taking DNA samples from arrestees. This included the offering of a framework for evaluating the constitutionality of DNA sampling on arrest, with attention to a number of relevant cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Post-conviction Issues Working Group report focused on the drafting of a model statute that addresses "time bars" and statutes regarding DNA evidence with no match prior to the expiration of a statute of limitations for prosecution. A similar issue arises when a State sets a limit on the length of time after sentencing for challenging existing evidence or presenting new evidence. The meeting's working lunch featured a presentation by the supervisor of Florida's DNA Investigative Support Database, which is widely recognized as the most successful DNA database in the Nation. Remaining items on the meeting's agenda were the reports of the Crime Scene Investigation Working Group, the Research and Development Working Group, and the Laboratory Funding Working Group. The transcript covers participant comments and questions.
Date Published: May 1, 1999
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