Department of Forensic Science Makes 7,000th Hit to DNA Databank
Earlier today, the Governor’s office sent out a press release to mark the 7000th hit in Virginia’s DNA Database.
In 2002, Ryan sponsored the legislation (HB892) that requires a saliva or tissue DNA sample to be taken from every person arrested for a violent felony.
Before 2002, DNA samples were only taken from those convicted of felonies.
This law has been greatly beneficial to the Commonwealth and its citizens by giving law enforcement the tools they need to fight crime more effectively.
As a result of this law, our communities are safer.
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that the Virginia
Department of Forensic Science (DFS) recently achieved its 7,000th hit to
Virginia's databank of offender DNA samples. A "hit" occurs when a DNA profile
developed from any biological fluid, tissue, or hair recovered from a crime
scene is matched to a DNA profile from an individual or a forensic case in the
Commonwealth's DNA databank.
The 7,000th hit identified a DNA profile obtained from evidence submitted in a
case involving the attempted malicious wounding of a police officer.
"This is a sobering milestone," Governor McDonnell said. "It underscores the
power of DNA analysis as a crime-fighting tool. While the databank grows larger
each day with samples submitted from convicted persons and persons arrested for
violent felonies, law enforcement agencies find it increasingly valuable as a
means of identifying potential suspects of crimes committed in their
communities. Virginians have good reason to be proud of our Department of
Forensic Science and its well-earned reputation as one of the premier forensic
laboratory systems in the nation."
Virginia's DNA databank has not only helped further the cause of justice in the
Commonwealth, but it also has assisted law enforcement agencies in at least 39
other states, as well as the FBI, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms, and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory.
Under Virginia law, all convicted felons must submit a DNA sample for the
databank. Since 2003, all individuals arrested for a violent felony after a
finding of probable cause must also submit a sample. There are approximately
350,000 samples in Virginia's DNA databank.
"We can certainly take pride in crossing the 7,000 hit threshold. It clearly
shows the potential for the use of DNA in combating crime," said DFS Director
Peter Marone. "But we obviously cannot rest on this achievement. It is essential
that we remain focused on providing timely information, based on sound
scientific principles, so that the public can feel safe and both perpetrators
and those wrongly accused can be identified as quickly as possible."
Among the Virginia databank's 7,000 hits, approximately 8 percent were in
homicide cases, 15 percent were sex offenses, 66 percent were in crimes such as
burglary, robbery, grand larceny, and breaking and entering, and 11 percent were
in other types of crimes.