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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 194197 Find in a Library
Title: Using DNA to Solve Cold Cases: Special Report
Corporate Author: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Date Published: July 2002
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF|Text
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This special report provides basic information to assist agencies in the complex process of case review with specific emphasis on using DNA evidence and technology to solve previously unsolvable crimes.
Abstract: DNA is a fundamental building block for an individual’s entire genetic makeup. DNA is also a powerful tool when biological evidence from crime scenes is collected and stored properly; forensically valuable DNA can be found on evidence that may be decades old. This special report by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice is intended for use by law enforcement and other criminal justice professionals who have the responsibility for reviewing and investigating unsolved cases. Advancements in DNA technology and the success of DNA database systems have inspired law enforcement agencies to reevaluate cold cases for DNA evidence. The report is divided into four specific areas. The first reviews the long and short of DNA with special focus on DNA’s similarities to fingerprints and DNA technology advancements, such as PCR analysis, STR analysis, Mitochondrial DNA analysis, and Y-chromosome analysis. The report continues with the development, expansion, and limitations of DNA databases containing DNA profiles and their effectiveness in enhancing law enforcement’s ability to solve cold cases with DNA, specifically the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). The third area discusses a broad range of considerations necessary before any DNA testing is actually attempted in older, unsolved cases and include: legal considerations, technological considerations, practical considerations, evidence considerations, victim and witness considerations, and resource issues. The final area addresses the identifying, analyzing, and prioritizing of cases.
Main Term(s): DNA fingerprinting
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Criminal investigation; Data analysis; Data collections; Evidence collection; Forensic sciences; National Institute of Justice (NIJ); Trace evidence
Note: NIJ Special Report
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