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DNA Forensics:
Expanding Uses
and Information
Sharing
September 2006
W. Mark Dale
Owen Greenspan
Donald Orokos

SEARCH
The National Consortium for Justice
Information and Statistics

This page left intentionally blank

,

DNA Forensics:
Expanding Uses
and Information
Sharing
September 2006
W. Mark Dale
Owen Greenspan
Donald Orokos
NCJ 217992

7311 Greenhaven Drive, Suite 145
Sacramento, California 95831

SEARCH
The National Consortium for Justice
Information and Statistics

Phone: (916) 392-2550
Fax: (916) 392-8440
www.search.org

U.S. Department of Justice
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Jeffrey L. Sedgwick, Director
Acknowledgments. This report was prepared by SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, Francis X. Aumand III, Chairman, and Ronald P. Hawley, Executive Director.
Owen M. Greenspan, Director, Law and Policy, of SEARCH, project director and author, W. Mark Dale,
Director of the Northeast Regional Forensics Institute (NERFI) at the University at Albany, State University of New York and Donald D. Orokos, Instructor in Biology and Associate Director, Forensic Molecular Biology Program at the University at Albany, State University of New York, authors. Dr. Gerard F.
Ramker, Chief, National Criminal History Improvement Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal
project monitor.
This report was produced as a product of a project funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Office
of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, under Cooperative Agreement No. 2006-BJ-CX-K013,
awarded to SEARCH Group, Incorporated, 7311 Greenhaven Drive, Suite 145, Sacramento, California
95831. Contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of BJS or the U.S.
Department of Justice. Copyright © SEARCH Group, Incorporated, dba SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, 2006.

Contents
Preface................................................................................................................................................. iii
Glossary.............................................................................................................................................. iv
Overview............................................................................................................................................. 1
DNA Collection Legislation........................................................................................................... 2
DNA, Economics, and Public Safety............................................................................................ 2
The Science and Evolving Technology of DNA...................................................................... 3
Legal Strategies to Obtain DNA Samples................................................................................ 7
CODIS: The Combined DNA Index System.............................................................................. 8
Scientific Advances and Expanded Applications of DNA Analysis................................. 9
Lesser Offenses.......................................................................................................................... 9
Feline and Canine DNA.........................................................................................................11
Missing Persons DNA Databases.......................................................................................11
Near-match Searching..........................................................................................................11
Is the DNA Match Linked with the Criminal History Record Information?................12
Is the Criminal History Record Information Linked with the DNA Match?................12
Sharing Information between CODIS, AFIS, and Criminal History Systems:
Potential Benefits........................................................................................................................14
Conclusion........................................................................................................................................15
Bibliography.....................................................................................................................................16
About the Authors.........................................................................................................................18



ii

Preface
The value of DNA in verifying identities, excluding suspects,
and solving crimes—particularly those that have gone unsolved
for years—has far exceeded the expectations of those who first
noticed its forensic potential more than 20 years ago. DNA
Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing was prepared
to inform the broad justice community about the evolution of
DNA identification and its expanding uses.
The report examines the history of DNA use by forensic
investigators, considers the economics of DNA use as it relates to
public safety, and reviews privacy concerns relating to the release
of an individual’s genetic information. The report explores issues
associated with the coupling of criminal history information with
DNA data and recommends that mechanisms be put in place that
would make for a more efficient justice system while effectively
continuing to address privacy concerns.
The report utilizes some terms that may not be familiar to those
not associated with the DNA forensics community. Therefore, this
report includes a glossary to assist readers.
Dramatic advances in DNA forensics will continue to propel
this once-exotic science into more mainstream criminal
justice applications, perhaps even allowing it to someday
replace the fingerprint as the primary tool for verifying
identities. It is hoped that this report allows readers to understand
how these developments have occurred, and to monitor the
progress of DNA forensics in a more informed capacity.

iii

Glossary
While the science of DNA is replete
with complicated concepts,
components, and procedures, this
report was written with the layman
in mind; thus, scientific jargon was
kept to a minimum. However, it
would be difficult, if not impossible,
to write a report such as this without
including some of the terminology
common to forensic DNA use. The
following list is provided to assist
readers in understanding the
processes through which forensic
investigators use DNA to identify
perpetrators when traditional crimesolving methods have failed.
ABO blood typing
A human blood-typing test that
uses antibodies from bodily fluids
to determine whether an individual
has A, B, O, or AB type blood. ABO
typing was commonly used in the
past, before the implementation of
DNA analyses.
Combined DNA Index System
(CODIS)
An electronic database of DNA
profiles obtained from unsolved
crimes and from individuals
convicted of particular crimes.
CODIS contributors include the Local
DNA Index System (LDIS), the State
DNA Index System (SDIS), and the
National DNA Index System (NDIS).
CODIS is maintained by the FBI.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
A nucleic acid that contains genetic
instructions for the biological
development of all cellular forms
of life. DNA is responsible for
most inherited traits in humans.
Forensic scientists use DNA from
blood, semen, skin, saliva, or hair
recovered from crime scenes to
identify possible suspects through
DNA profiling, during which the
length of repetitive DNA sections
are compared. An individual’s DNA is
unique except for identical twins.
iv

DNA polymerase
An enzyme that assists in DNA
replication.
Electrophoresis
A process that occurs when
molecules placed in an electronic
field migrate toward either the
positive or negative pole according
to their charge. The process is
used to separate and sometimes
purify macromolecules that differ
in size, charge, or conformation.
Electrophoresis is one of the
most widely used techniques in
biochemistry and molecular biology.
Mitochondrial DNA (MtDNA)
Differs from nuclear DNA in location,
sequence, quantity in the cell, and
mode of inheritance. MtDNA is
found in a cell’s cytoplasm and is
present in much greater numbers
than nuclear DNA, which is found in
a cell’s nucleus. In humans, MtDNA is
inherited strictly from the mother. It
is useful in identifying individuals in
areas not conducive to nuclear DNA
analyses, such as when nuclear DNA
cannot be obtained in sufficient
quantities or quality. Also, MtDNA
use in identification is less efficient
than nuclear DNA analysis in that
it cannot differentiate between
individuals who share the same
mother. The statistical probabilities
for identification from MtDNA are
not as unique as nuclear DNA.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
A process through which millions
of copies of a single DNA segment
are produced in a matter of hours
without using living organisms
like E. coli or yeast. The process
relies on several basic components,
including a DNA template, which
contains the DNA segment to
be amplified; two primers, which
determine the beginning and end
of the region to be amplified; DNA
polymerase, which copies the region
to be amplified; Deoxynucleotidestriphosphate, from which the DNA

polymerase builds the new DNA;
and a buffer, which provides an
appropriate chemical environment
for the DNA polymerase. PCR
occurs when the components are
combined in a test tube, which is
then heated and cooled to different
temperatures to encourage various
chemical reactions.
Restriction Fragment Length
Polymorphism (RFLP)
A process through which DNA is
cut by restriction enzymes into
restriction fragments. The enzymes
only cut when they recognize
specific DNA sequences. The
distance between the locations
cut by restriction enzymes varies
between individuals, allowing their
genetic identification.
Single Tandem Repeats (STR)
Small DNA regions that contain DNA
segments that repeat several times
in tandem. Repeated sequences are
a fundamental feature of genomes,
such as DNA, and play an important
role in genomic fingerprinting.
CODIS uses 13 STR sequences as
genetic markers.
Variable Number of Tandem
Repeats (VNTR)
Short DNA sequences ranging from
14 to 40 nucleotides organized
into clusters of tandem repeats
of between 4 and 40 repeats per
occurrence. VNTRs cut by restriction
enzymes reveal a pattern of bands
unique to each individual. They play
an important role in forensic crime
investigations.

Overview
The application of DNA technology to the biological
evidence in criminal casework has revolutionized
forensic science. The ability to identify, with a high
degree of certainty, a suspect in violent crimes
now routinely provides valuable leads to criminal
investigators worldwide, often in circumstances
where there are no eyewitnesses. Forensic DNA
technology is a very sensitive and universally
accepted scientific technique. The Combined DNA
Index System (CODIS), administered by the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is a distributed
database with three hierarchical tiers enabling
local, statewide, and national comparisons among
convicted offender profiles and with crime scene
samples. As of June 2006, it contains more than
3.3 million convicted offender profiles and more
than 142,000 profiles from crime scenes, and has
produced 36,000 “investigation-aided” matches
in 49 States and 2 Federal laboratories.1 DNA
analysis also benefits the innocent. Suspects may
be eliminated before arrest or exonerated even after
conviction.
Information is the lifeblood of the criminal justice
system. Despite the wonders of DNA science and
technology, DNA use cannot achieve its full promise
in the context of criminal justice applications
unless there are efficient means in place for
criminal investigators to obtain the criminal
history information of a suspect when a match is
made between physical evidence collected at the
crime scene and a profile stored in a local, State, or
national database. Once the crime lab completes
its work, should it report a match, the investigator
must learn as much as possible about the suspect.
Traditionally, the criminal history record (or “rap
sheet”) is a primary source for learning about the
nature of the suspect’s past offenses and provides
a path to physical description information, a
“mugshot” photograph, past modus operandi
information, and known associates, and is often of
considerable value in locating the suspect.

Privacy advocates
have consistently
raised concerns
about linkages
between personal
identifying
information and
an individual’s
DNA, which can
reveal genetic
information about
the individual
and his/her
family members. This issue has led to policies and
practices whereby there is no formal interface
between CODIS and any criminal history record
information systems. Further, CODIS does not store
criminal history information, nor was it designed
to include any personally identifying information
about the subject of the DNA sample.2 States have
tended to follow the FBI’s lead in this area. In fact,
a number of the State laws expressly prohibit the
linking of criminal history record information with
an offender’s DNA profile.3
Yet establishing linkages between DNA databases
and State and Federal criminal history databases
would enable an investigator to know that a
suspect’s DNA profile is available for comparison.
Perhaps just as important, a linkage mechanism
could serve as a flag to indicate that an offender’s
DNA sample has not been obtained, although
required by law. Consequently, the offender’s
DNA profile would be unavailable for comparison
with material recovered from a crime scene. The
challenge for the criminal justice community is to
create an environment that efficiently leverages the
power of DNA technology, while allowing for sharing
(or at least access to) essential information in a
manner that respects privacy concerns.

2 Letter from Thomas F. Callaghan, Ph.D., Chief, CODIS Unit, FBI Laboratory,
to Owen Greenspan, Director, Law and Policy Program, SEARCH, The National
Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, dated June 16, 2005. Hereafter, Callaghan Letter.
1 Source: FBI CODIS web site at http://www.fbi.gov/hq/lab/codis.

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing 	

3 Ibid.



DNA Collection Legislation
The FBI is responsible for the administration and
support of the National DNA Index System (NDIS)
in accordance with Federal law.4
All States have enacted laws requiring the collection
of DNA from offenders convicted of specified
crimes. Many States are moving to expand the
circumstances mandating collection and retention
to include more or all convicted felony offenders
and some convicted misdemeanor offenders,
extending or eliminating the statute of limitations
for certain offenses where DNA evidence exists,
and even requiring the taking of DNA samples
subsequent to arrest but before disposition.
For example, the enactment of California
Proposition 69 in November 2004 authorized the
collection of DNA samples from adults and juveniles
convicted of any felony offense, as well as adults
and juveniles arrested for or charged with felony
sex offenses, murder, or voluntary manslaughter.
Table 15
Database
Criteria
Sex Offenses
Murder
Offenses Against Children
Kidnapping
Assault and Battery
Robbery
Burglary
All Felonies
Juveniles

Number of
Jurisdictions*
55
54
54
54
53
53
52
44
31

* The 55 jurisdictions referenced include the 50 States,
the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth
of Puerto Rico, Federal Offenders under authority of
42 U.S.C. § 14135a, and persons charged by the U.S.
Department of Defense under authority of 10 U.S.C.
§ 1565.

Effective in 2009, all adults arrested for or charged
with any felony offense in California will be subject
to DNA sample collection. The trend toward
increasing the number and types of designated
offenses that require the taking of DNA samples
will significantly increase local, State, and national
database populations. Table 1 summarizes the
frequency with which State laws direct or authorize
the taking of DNA samples for certain convictions.

DNA, Economics, and Public
Safety
Recidivism is the fundamental factor that provides
the underlying rationale for the DNA database
program. As noted in a 2003 report on sex offender
recidivism:
•	 “Within 3 years following their release, 38.6%
(3,741) of the 9,691 released sex offenders
were returned to prison.”6
•	 “The first 12 months following their release
from a State prison was the period when 40%
of sex crimes were allegedly committed by the
released sex offenders.”7
The National Forensic DNA Study Report found that
there is a backlog of over one-half million criminal
cases containing unanalyzed DNA evidence.8 These
cases either have not been sent to laboratories,
or are in laboratories awaiting analyses. A 1996
report, Victim Costs and Consequences: A New Look,
examines the many tangible and intangible costs
of crime as it pertains to victims in the United
States.9 The authors estimate the tangible costs of
rape to be approximately $5,000 per assault. When
intangible costs that affect the victim’s quality of life

6 Patrick A. Langan, Erica L. Schmitt, and Matthew R. Durose, Recidivism of Sex
Offenders Released from Prison in 1994 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of
Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2003) at p. 2. Hereafter, Langan
report.
7 Ibid., p. 1.
8 Nicholas P. Lovrich, et al. (Pullman, WA: Washington State University and
London: Smith Alling Lane, February 2004) at p. 3.

4 42 U.S.C. § 14132.
5 Callaghan Letter.

	

9 Ted R. Miller, Mark A. Cohen, and Brian Wiersema (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, January 1996) at p. 1.

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing

are considered, the cost estimate rises to $87,000
per assault. The report also projects that violent
crime leads to 3% of all medical spending and 14%
of injury-related medical spending. The aggregate
tangible costs of medical spending for rape is $7.5
billion per year. When pain, suffering, and lost
quality of life are considered as well as out-of-pocket
expenses, the aggregate annual cost of rape is
estimated to be $127 billion. Personal crime medical
costs total $105 billion per year, with total intangible
quality of life costs totaling $450 billion per year.
There is a clear cost benefit for timely DNA analyses
for violent crime cases. For example, a Master of
Business Administration thesis, “Business Case
for Forensic DNA,”10 discussed how solving sexual
assaults with DNA analyses would eventually lessen
recidivism and be cost effective.
DNA technology is expensive, but the potential cost
benefits are staggering—given both the tangible
(DNA analyses and victim’s medical treatment) and
intangible (quality of life for victim and community)
costs incurred because of crime that can be solved
with the aid of DNA technology. The national
United Kingdom (UK) DNA database contains 3.5%
of its population in the convicted offender index
and yields a 40% hit rate. The UK Forensic Science
Service’s DNA database of 3 million convicted
offender samples not only has the probability of
delivering a hit 40% of the time, but it solves .8
additional cases per hit and prevents 7.8 crimes for
every hit.11 The UK system operates under a legal
system significantly different from that of the United
States—it is one that allows DNA collection from
arrestees and even in the course of neighborhood
sweeps.

10 Ray A. Wickenheiser, University of Louisiana, Lafayette (2002).
11 Christopher H. Asplen, The Application of DNA in England and Wales (London:
Smith Alling Lane, January 2004) at p. 1.

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing 	

The growth in reliance on
forensic DNA programs
has led to significant
casework backlogs in
public laboratories.
A Bureau of Justice
Statistics census of
publicly funded forensic
crime laboratories, 50
Largest Crime Labs, 2002,
identified compelling data
for the ever-increasing
caseloads on public
DNA laboratories.12 Only
one-third of the DNA cases submitted to public
laboratories are analyzed. Most public forensic
laboratories can only analyze the most serious cases
that are scheduled for court. This leaves potential
evidence from many other cases unanalyzed. A
study in one State indicated that lesser offense cases
provide the majority (81%) of hits in CODIS rather
than homicides and rapes.13 There is a 1.69 ratio
of backlogged to completed DNA cases per year.
Simply stated, if a laboratory analyzes 1,000 DNA
cases, the same laboratory carries a backlog of 1,690
cases, or 1.69 years of work.

The Science and Evolving
Technology of DNA
Comparisons between latent prints left at crime
scenes and known fingerprints from suspects had
been the traditional method for using physical
evidence to place individuals at the scenes of
crimes. Manual searching of fingerprint files in the
absence of a suspect, known as “cold searching,”
was a tedious, challenging, and often impractical
process. In the 1980s, with the advent of automated
fingerprint identification systems (AFIS), police
departments no longer needed a suspect. Partial
fingerprints recovered from a crime scene could be
automatically searched against massive databases
of arrest fingerprints with greater accuracy and

12 Matthew J. Hickman and Joseph L. Peterson (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, September 2004).
13 Virginia Department of Forensic Science, “DNA Database Statistics,” (2005).



speed than previously
imaginable.
The scientific technology
of DNA profiles has
added a new dimension
to the melding of crime
scene evidence with
biometric information.
DNA technology uses
statistical probabilities
to determine the rarity
James Watson
of one random person
having a specific genetic profile. This is done using
the different sizes of 13 locations (loci) found in
human DNA. The probabilities of an individual
having a unique DNA profile can be one in a billion
or more. These probabilities are so rare that they
can be used as a statement of identification. Latent
fingerprint comparisons rely on the expertise and
experience of the latent fingerprint examiner. DNA
forensic profiling and comparisons rely on statistical
probabilities to determine the uniqueness of the
profile.
Over some 20 years, forensic laboratories have
evolved from using traditional ABO blood-typing
methods to eliminate or include suspects to
progressively more efficient methods of forensic
DNA analyses. The earlier methods of ABO and
electrophoresis could categorically exclude suspects
but were of little value as methods for determining
positive identification.14 Today, the newest DNA
analysis method—multiplex polymerase chain
reaction single tandem repeat (PCR STR)—is
capable of producing sole-source attribution
probability of one in a trillion or more.

In the early 1950s, James Watson and Francis
Crick first described the structure and a possible
role for the double-stranded DNA molecule. The
first DNA typing technology used successfully in
forensic laboratories was originally described in
1985 as “DNA fingerprinting” by Dr. Alec Jeffreys.15
Dr. Jeffreys recognized that certain regions of DNA
contained repeats of the same sequences, and that
these repeat regions, or variable number of tandem
repeats (VNTR), vary in length from one individual
to the next. Dr. Jeffreys used a molecular biology
technique, referred to as restriction fragment
length polymorphism (RFLP). At that time RFLP, in
conjunction with VNTR, provided a powerful tool
for forensic DNA typing. However, it was expensive,
time-consuming (6–8
weeks), a safety hazard due
to the use of radioactive
probes, and required a
relatively large amount of
intact DNA.
In 1986, a molecular DNA
technique known as PCR
was developed.16 PCR helped
revolutionize forensic DNA
typing by amplifying very
Francis Crick
small amounts of DNA
recovered from crime scenes.
In this highly sensitive amplification technique, a
DNA molecule is synthesized and replicated. Each
newly synthesized DNA molecule can also serve
as template DNA in future cycles, thus producing
millions of copies of specific target DNA in a threehour run. Overall, PCR technology is a sensitive,
safe, fast, robust, and economical method. The PCR
DNA technology relates specifically to the DNA that
is located in the nucleus of human cells. Typically,
the majority of crime scene evidence suitable for
nuclear PCR DNA techniques is blood, saliva, and
semen.

15 Alec J. Jeffreys, V. Wilson, and S.L. Thein, “Individual-specific ‘fingerprints’ of
human DNA,” Nature 316: 76–79 (July 4–10, 1985).
14 J.M. Butler, Forensic DNA Typing: Biology, Technology, and Genetics of STR
Markers, 2nd ed. (Burlington, MA: Elsevier Academic Press, 2005). Hereafter,
Butler report.

	

16 K. Mullis, et al., “Specific enzymatic amplification in vitro: the polymerase
chain reaction,” Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology 51:
263–273 (1986).

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing

A second type
of forensic
analyses is
mitochondrial
DNA (mtDNA),
which is found
outside of the
cell nucleus in
the cytoplasm.
MtDNA is
present in
much higher
volumes and
is less susceptible to environmental degradation.
It is also possible to obtain an mtDNA profile from
cells without nuclei, such as hair shafts. This type
of DNA is helpful in severely degraded evidence,
such as decomposed tissue and bone. However, the
statistical probabilities derived from mitochondrial
analyses are not as unique or rare as nuclear
DNA at present and the technique is costly and
time-consuming. It is hoped that automation and
efficiencies gained from economies of scale will
decrease the cycle time and costs, and increase the
uniqueness of the statistical probabilities of this very
useful technique.

samples for direct comparisons to the mtDNA
profile generated from the questioned remains. A
mother passes her mtDNA profile to her children
and shares her mtDNA with her mother, her
siblings (both male and female), and her biological
maternal relatives (male or female). Mitochondrial
DNA testing has been successful in identifying
soldiers from the Vietnam War and World War II by
comparison to distant maternal relatives; identifying
remains recovered from historical casework such as
those of Tsar Nicholas II and his family; identifying
the victims of mass disasters; and identifying
missing persons.

MtDNA testing has been popularized owing to its
ability to provide results when other specimens may
not yield typical nuclear DNA results. For example,
with highly charred remains, it is oftentimes not
possible to obtain a full profile using other methods.
However, with this approach it is frequently
possible to recover a sufficient quantity of mtDNA
for analysis. Further, even degraded specimens,
either through environmental insults or exposure to
chemical challenges, can produce a mitochondrial
DNA profile. MtDNA is also better suited for
recovering useful material from dried skeletal
remains, older fingernails, and smaller sample sizes
than other methods.

Forensic labs continue to push the sensitivity
threshold even lower by performing PCR
amplification on select regions of the DNA molecule.
A number of benefits arise as analysis techniques
improve. These include high throughput potential
and an overall decrease in turnaround time for most
DNA typing casework. Before recent improvements
in the technology (known as STR/PCR technology,
referred to earlier as PCR STR on page 4), attempts
in profiling degraded DNA samples usually
produced inconclusive results. Now, forensic labs
even have some success in obtaining profiles from
fragmented and degraded DNA samples at disaster
sites such as TWA Flight 80017 and Swiss Air Flight
111.18

Another distinct feature of mtDNA is that it is
maternally inherited. When the egg and sperm
meet, only nuclear DNA is contributed from
the spermatozoon to the fertilized egg. This
characteristic can be helpful in forensic cases, such
as analysis of the remains of a missing person, where
known maternal relatives can provide reference

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing 	

Table 2 illustrates the rapid evolution of DNA
analysis by the FBI.
Table 2: The Rapid Evolution of DNA Analysis by the FBI
1985
1988
1993
1998
1999
2002
2004

Dr. Alex Jeffreys develops RFLP probes
FBI begins RFLP casework
FBI begins PCR STR casework
FBI initiates CODIS with 13 STR loci
FBI and other labs stop RFLP casework
FBI initiates mtDNA casework
FBI initiates mtDNA regional labs

17 Jack Ballantyne, “Mass disaster genetics,” Nature Genetics 15(4): 329–331
(1997).
18 Butler report.



Figure 1: Personal Effects of World Trade Center Victims Collected for DNA Analysis
Tissue Sample (1)
Dried Blood Stains (1)
DNA Kinship Report (2)
BIOBAG (4)
Tissue (7)
Towel (11)
Fingernail Scraping/Clipping (16)
Cigarette Butts (22)
Bedding (23)
Prepared Blood Stain Card (91)
Known Blood Sample (113)
Underwear (195)
Comb (279)
Clothing (328)
Hair (538)
Miscellaneous (868)
Razorblade (1,048)
Hairbrush (1,201)
Toothbrush (2,182)
Case File & Documentation (3,117)
Swabs (6,886)
Extracted DNA (23,608)
0

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000

6000

7000

23,000

Number of Items by Type
(Includes administrative and derivative items)

The World Trade Center (WTC) disaster of
September 11, 2001, presented the forensic science
community with the challenge of analyzing a large
number of seriously degraded victim samples.
Developing profiles from victims of the WTC with
single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) and
mitochondrial technology lowered the sensitivity
threshold bar even further. Personal effects from
victims were collected from around the world to
analyze and compare to victim DNA profiles (see
Figure 1). 19 It was agreed by the New York City Office
19 President’s DNA Initiative, Lessons Learned From 9/11: DNA Identification
in Mass Fatality Incidents, NCJ 214781 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of
Justice, National Institute of Justice, September 2006) at p. 59.

	

of the Chief Medical Examiner (NYCOCME) and
the New York State Police (NYSP) that the personal
effects would be analyzed at the NYSP Forensic
Investigation Center in Albany. The NYCOCME
would analyze the victim samples. The two agencies
also worked together to design and implement
an evidence bar code tracking system and an
intralaboratory network to compare victim and
personal effect profiles. On April 3, 2005, four years
and at least $80 million later, this unprecedented
identification effort ended. Of the 2,749 victims,
1,592 were identified by a variety of forensic
techniques. Only 111 identifications were made

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing

in the last 2 years from the 19,915 tissue samples
recovered from the WTC site. The remaining samples
have been archived in climate-controlled storage
awaiting even more sensitive DNA techniques in the
future.20
The latest forensic technology that shows
considerable promise in exploiting greater
sensitivity in DNA typing is low copy number
(LCN). Armed with this latest technology, forensic
scientists in the near future may be able to routinely
obtain a complete DNA profile from only a suspect’s
fingerprint.21 Skin cells from a latent fingerprint
can yield a DNA profile. An unidentifiable latent
fingerprint could then be used to identify a suspect
at a crime scene through the use of DNA. The
DNA profile from the latent print could also be
used to add probative weight to a latent print that
is identified to a suspect. There are also partially
degraded DNA profiles that could be compared to a
suspect’s CODIS DNA if the law enforcement agency
has established identification with fingerprints.
In the future, we may see well educated and highly
trained investigators or forensic scientists arrive
at a crime scene equipped with an ultramodern
hand-held “laboratory on a chip” DNA profiling
device. Researchers are already in the early stages
of validating such prototypes of a portable DNA
profiling unit.22 It is a short leap to envisioning the
possibility of recovering physical evidence and
processing it on-site. At the crime scene, a DNA
profile will be produced, and through interface
with flagged criminal history databases, the case
detective is informed of the identity of a prime
suspect.

Legal Strategies to Obtain DNA
Samples
A DNA sample can be obtained by any of four basic
legal strategies:23
Voluntary
A suspect may be asked to voluntarily submit a
DNA sample to be compared to a casework forensic
sample. A blood draw was originally used for the
sample, but now it is more common to use a buccal
swab: a small toothbrush or cotton swab that is
rubbed against the inside of the cheek to collect
inner-mouth epithelial cells for DNA analyses.
Court Order
A court determines that there is reasonable cause
to authorize a law enforcement agency to collect
a DNA sample from a suspect for comparison to a
forensic sample.
Law
A statute authorizes the collection of a DNA sample
from a defined group of individuals, such as
convicted offenders or arrestees, for inclusion in the
State DNA database.
Abandonment
The suspect gives up control and possession of an
item that contains his DNA. For example, a cigarette
butt is smoked by a suspect and then discarded.
A detective observes the suspect abandon the
cigarette butt and leave the immediate area. The
detective recovers the cigarette butt.

20 Eric Lipton, “At Limits of Science, 9/11 ID Effort Comes to End,” New York
Times, April 3, 2005, Section I, Page 29.
21 F. Alessandrini, et al., “Fingerprints as evidence for a genetic profile morphological study on fingerprints and analysis of exogenous and individual factors
affecting DNA typing,” J. Forensic Science 48(3): 1–7 (2003); and A. Barbaro, et al.,
“Anonymous letters? DNA and fingerprints technologies combined to solve a
case,” Forensic Science International 146 Suppl: S133–S134 (2004).
22 Cheuk-Wai Kan, et al., “DNA sequencing and genotyping in miniaturized
electrophoresis systems,” Electrophoresis 25: 3564–3588 (November 2004).

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing 	

23 Steve Hogan, Deputy Counsel, New York State Police, personal conversation
with Mark Dale, Director, Northeast Regional Forensic Institute, May 25, 2005.



CODIS: The Combined DNA
Index System
Sponsored by the FBI, the Combined DNA Index
System—CODIS—began as a pilot project with
14 participant State and local laboratories in
1990. Today, the FBI Laboratory’s CODIS Unit is
responsible for the software used by 177 Federal,
State, and local forensic DNA laboratories that
participate in the National DNA Index System
(NDIS), for the operation of the National DNA
Index, and for the support of the NDIS Procedures
Board. Participation in NDIS is governed by a
Memorandum of Understanding between the
States and the FBI, as well as NDIS Operational
Procedures.24
The primary performance measure
for CODIS is a “confirmed match,”
commonly referred to as an
“Investigation Aided” match, due
to the inherent complexity in
determining the results that arise from
follow-up to the DNA hit report. For
example, although a DNA database
match may have identified a possible
assailant, the police or prosecutor
may elect not to arrest due to lack
of cooperation from the victim, or
because of the time barrier imposed
by a statute of limitations, or because
further investigation might reveal that
the suspect identified through the
DNA match could not have committed
the crime, but may have had access
to the crime scene or related physical
evidence.
When a hit occurs in CODIS between
laboratories within a State or between
profiles contributed from different
States, the CODIS Administrator for
the State laboratory first confirms the
identity and the underlying qualifying
offense for which the DNA sample
of the convicted offender was taken.
In some jurisdictions, the State DNA

Index System (SDIS) laboratory may conduct
additional confirmatory analyses of the convicted
offender DNA sample. A notification is then made to
the two laboratories that they have a hit in CODIS.
Laboratories then contact the respective police
departments and prosecutors and inform them of
the hit. (See Figure 2.) The hit provides reasonable
cause to collect a final confirmatory DNA sample
from the convicted offender, once identified and
located, usually with the assistance of the criminal
history record. This DNA sample is then compared
to the actual evidence in the case as the final quality
control check for the entire CODIS system. The
hit could also provide linkage to other unsolved or
solved cases.

Figure 2: The CODIS System
COMBINED DNA INDEX SYSTEM (CODIS)
NATIONAL DNA INDEX SYSTEM– FBI (NDIS)
STATE DNA INDEX SYSTEM– (SDIS)
LOCAL DNA INDEX SYSTEM – (LDIS)

CRIMINAL
HISTORY

National (FBI) DNA
Laboratory
(Local DNA Index System – LDIS)

DNA HIT
NOTIFICATION

Convicted Offender and Crime
Scene Samples

Local Police
Department

State DNA
Laboratory
(Local DNA Index System – LDIS)

DNA HIT
NOTIFICATION

Convicted Offender and Crime
Scene Samples

DNA HIT
NOTIFICATION

Local DNA
Laboratory
(Local DNA Index System – LDIS)
Suspect and Crime Scene
Samples

Police

Crime Scene
DNA Evidence

24 Callaghan letter.

	

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing

Scientific Advances and
Expanded Applications of DNA
Analysis
Although the nation’s justice system has placed
greater emphasis on DNA identification over the
past 20 years, in crimes of violence the utility
of DNA typing reaches further. The use of DNA
testing for linking a suspect to a violent crime,
determining serial crimes, reconstructing an
accident, and exculpating the innocent is powerful
technology. However, DNA is proving to be an
ever more remarkable tool as its potential to be
applied in other criminal justice-related situations
is increasingly being explored. This section
explores some nontraditional applications of DNA
technology that may assist in investigations today
and in the future.

Lesser Offenses
The New York City Police Department (NYPD)
leveraged DNA technology to solve crimes not
usually associated with DNA analysis, such as
burglary, assault, and larceny.25 Conceptualized from
data presented in the Bureau of Justice Statistics
report Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from
Prison in 1994,26 the NYPD Laboratory’s Biotracks
program is a pilot project focused on one particular
geographic area: Queens County. Crime scene
response teams were trained to identify probative
items that might contain biological evidence (e.g.,
cigarette butts, clothing, and drink containers
with possible saliva) and to submit them to the
laboratory for processing. The goals of the Biotracks
program were to (1) solve crimes involving the
commission of lesser offenses—crimes for which
physical evidence is often not collected or, when
collected, is not usually subjected to DNA analysis;

and (2) determine the extent to which DNA from
these crime scenes could be linked to more serious
crimes such as rapes or homicides. The program
obtained a hit rate of over 30% and identified
linkages between lesser offenses with open rape
and homicide cases. Due in part to the success and
lessons learned from Biotracks, the New York City
Medical Examiner’s Office is planning to “vastly
expand its forensic biology laboratory, which
will ultimately redefine the way difficult-to-solve
crimes, such as home burglaries and stolen property
offenses, are investigated and prosecuted.”27
Table 3 depicts the number of arrests for lesser
and violent offenses attributed to the 38 offenders
identified in the Biotracks program. The offenders
clearly possessed a history of both violent and
lesser offenses. Table 4 depicts the prior convictions
for the 38 offenders identified in the Biotracks
program. There was a clear history of convictions
from both lesser offense and violent crimes. Caseto-case linkages were developed between a violent
crime and lesser offenses (2004 burglary/1994
rape), and between a burglary and a robbery. The
Biotracks program has provided valuable leads for
law enforcement that have resulted in arrests and
convictions. The 29 arrestees from the Biotracks
program resulted in 18 guilty pleas to 27 offenses,
while 3 were indicted for 4 offenses each. Eighty
percent of these individuals were convicted of
violent felonies, one individual for homicide, and
one individual for four sexual offenses.28

25 DNA in “Minor” Crimes Yields Major Benefits in Public Safety (Washington, DC:
U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, November 2004).

27 Reuven Blau, “City ME’s Office Expands Crime Evidence Duties,” The ChiefLeader (New York City), September 2, 2005, at p.1.

26 Langan report.

28 Source: New York City Police Department Laboratory.

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing 	



Table 3: Recidivism Prior Arrests of Offenders in Biotracks Program

Recidivism Prior Arrests
100
# Arrests

50
0
38 Offenders
Lesser Offense

Violent Felonies

Table 4: Prior Convictions of Offenders in Biotracks Program

Prior Convictions
30
25
20
# Convictions

15

Lesser Offenses

10

Violent Felonies

5
0
38 Offenders

10	

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing

Feline and Canine DNA

Missing Persons DNA Databases

The American Pet Products Manufacturers
Association’s (APPMA) 2003/2004 National Pet
Owners Survey reports that the number of U.S. petowning households has increased by more than
10 million since 1992. Current methods used to
identify dog and cat biological material are nuclear
STR analysis and mitochondrial (mtDNA) analysis.
These techniques use the same procedures that are
used by crime laboratories worldwide to identify
human biological material. Animal DNA evidence is
most often contributed when the animal falls victim
to a crime, e.g., shooting death of a dog during a
burglary, or when the animal is a companion to a
suspect, e.g., shedding of animal hair at the crime
scene.

The University of North Texas Health Science
Center has created the Texas Missing Persons DNA
Database, an mtDNA database that contributes
mtDNA data to the national database for searches
of missing persons. The objective of this database is
to assist in the identification of kidnapped children,
runaway children, and skeletal unidentified human
remains. The Missing Persons Clearinghouse for
the State of Texas reports that 70,000 people are
reported missing each year in that State, with
approximately 7,000 active cases at any given time.

In 2002, Danielle Van Dam was reported missing
from her home in San Diego, California. She was
found dead in a remote area 25 days later. David
Westerfield, the Van Dam family’s neighbor, was
arrested. Among other evidence, investigators
had recovered dog hairs similar to the Van Dams’
Weimaraner dog in Westerfield’s motor home, on
a quilt, and in the lint trap of his dryer. Canine
STR typing, performed by the Veterinary Genetics
Laboratory at the University of California at Davis,
was unsuccessful. An mtDNA match between the
evidence hairs and the Van Dam family dog was
entered as evidence.
Hair, of both human and animal origin, is a common
piece of evidence from a crime scene. Because
people and their pets live in close proximity, the
recovery of animal hair evidence is quite possible.
However, animal hair evidence is often overlooked
as a critical form of evidence. Animal hair, in
particular, can be found on clothing, in homes,
and in cars. Because hair is easily transferred in
daily activities, transfer of evidence occurs at every
crime scene. The challenge is to identify this useful
evidence. The passive transfer of animal hair can
show a link to a crime scene. Analysis of canine
evidence has been reported in scores of criminal
investigations and trials nationwide.

A national missing persons DNA database is
administered by the FBI. DNA exemplars from
missing persons are searched against unidentified
human remains. For example, a crime victim’s
remains are uncovered in a shallow grave, or
a deceased victim is found with no form of
identification with the body. The DNA from the
unknown victim is searched against the missing
person DNA data in the hopes of making an
identification.

Near-match Searching
Close biological relatives—parents, children, and
siblings—are known to often have similar DNA
profiles. Near-match searching linked two of the
September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11
hijackers as being brothers. Florida has employed
near-match searching to identify the fathers of
several babies born to rape victims. The Denver
District Attorney’s Office, in the first case in which
the FBI has allowed near-match search information
to be shared between States, is using identifying
information for a convicted Oregon felon as an
investigative lead to try to identify a suspect in a
rape case that occurred three years earlier.29

29 Richard Willing, “DNA database can flag suspects through relatives,” USA
Today, August 23, 2006, page 2A.

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing 	

11

Is the DNA Match Linked with
the Criminal History Record
Information?
No. Because an individual’s DNA has the potential
to reveal genetic information about that individual
and his/her family, privacy advocates continue
to voice concerns about the proliferation of DNA
offender databases and access to the DNA data
in those databases. The “eugenics” argument is
that genes, unlike fingerprint patterns, contain
information about an individual’s racial and ethnic
heritage, disease susceptibility, and even behavioral
propensities.30 Insurance companies, employers,
or government agencies might raid the data for
health-related information, leading to genetic
discrimination against individuals or groups.
Behavioral researchers will not be able to resist a
database of convicted criminals.
The FBI Laboratory Division sponsored meetings
with privacy and defense advocates during the
information gathering stages for CODIS. As early
as 1991, the FBI laboratory issued “Legislative
Guidelines for DNA Databases,” stating that
“personal information stored in CODIS will be
limited …CODIS will not store criminal history
information.” The policy of maintaining limited
information in CODIS remains today.31
A similar policy has been adopted by many States.
Illustrative of State DNA databases laws are:
•	

The California Penal Code provides that “DNA
and other forensic identification information
retained by the Department of Justice …shall
not be included in the state summary criminal
history information.”32

30 Simon A. Cole, “Fingerprint Identification and the Criminal Justice System:
Historical Lessons for the DNA Debate,” in The Technology of Justice: DNA and
the Criminal Justice System, David Lazer (ed.) (Cambridge, MA: John F. Kennedy
School of Government, Harvard University, June 2003) at p. 19.
31 Callaghan letter.
32 California Penal Code § 299.5(d)).

12	

•	

A Florida statute provides that “any analysis,
when completed, shall be entered into
the automated data maintained by the
Department of Law Enforcement … and shall
not be included in the state central criminal
justice information repository.”33

•	

A Rhode Island law provides that “all DNA
typing results and the DNA records shall
be stored in a computer database after all
personal identifiers have been removed.”34

Clearly, there is considerable agreement at both the
national and State levels that it is inappropriate to
include personal information in DNA databases,
including criminal history record information that
typically includes physical, biographic, and other
descriptive data.

Is the Criminal History Record
Information Linked with the
DNA Match?
Again, the answer is no. In May 2005 none of the 31
State criminal history repositories responding to a
survey by SEARCH, The National Consortium for
Justice Information and Statistics, reported making
provision for the inclusion of a subject’s DNA profile
on the criminal history record. However, 13 of the
31 States reported employing a flag on the criminal
history record to indicate that a sample had been
collected, including 6 States that indicate whether
the profile is located on a local, State, or national
database.35

33 Florida Statutes § 943.325(1)(d)(6)).
34 Rhode Island General Laws § 12-1.5-10 (1).
35 The 13 States were California, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan,
New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and
Washington.

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing

It is not surprising that a reference to personal
identifying information is found on the rap sheet.
State criminal history records typically include
an identification segment with a provision to
record and display some, if not all, of the following
personally identifying descriptive elements:
•	

Name

•	

FBI Number

•	

State Identification Number

•	

Correctional Number

•	

Social Security Number

•	

Miscellaneous Identification Number

•	

Driver’s License Number

•	

Place of Birth

•	

Date of Birth

•	

Country of Citizenship

•	

Sex

•	

Race

•	

Height

•	

Weight

•	

Eye Color

•	

Hair Color

•	

Skin Tone

•	

Fingerprint Pattern

•	

Photo Available

•	

Scars, Marks, and Tattoos

•	

Employment Information

•	

Residence

In its December 1995 report, the National Task
Force on Increasing the Utility of the Criminal
History Record (Criminal History Utility Task Force)
recognized the growing use of DNA evidence in
criminal cases and the emergence of databases of
DNA information. Among its recommendations, the
Task Force proposed that a data element be added
to the identification data on the criminal history
record to indicate the existence and location of
DNA samples or profile data. For this data element,
location would be indicated by the name and the
Originating Agency Identifier (ORI) of the agency
holding the information.36
In 1996, the Joint Task Force (JTF) on Rap Sheet
Standardization, with representation from the FBI
Criminal Justice Information Services Division
and its Advisory Policy Board, the National Law
Enforcement Telecommunications System,
and SEARCH, was formed to implement the
recommendations of the Criminal History Utility
Task Force by developing a standardized criminal
history format for interstate transmission. After
much discussion, the JTF opted to establish an
element that allows for two kinds of reporting
relating to DNA. First, the most common and useful
is to report that a DNA sample has been taken from
the subject, has been coded, and is available from a
specific agency. Second, and not normally included
in a criminal history response, is the optional
ability to transmit the actual detail of the DNA
profile. The latter capability was included should
implementations evolve that would be facilitated by
the transmittal of the detail code.37 Some States that
have yet to adopt the standardized criminal history
record have instead opted to note on the rap sheet
when an inmate has been convicted of a designated
offense, and if a DNA profile is available in CODIS.38

36 SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics,
Increasing the Utility of the Criminal History Record: Report of the National Task
Force (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics,
December 1995).
37 This specification is available at http://it.ojp.gov/jsr/common/list1.
jsp?keyword=1&forlist=1&community=yes.
38 Source: New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, 2005.

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing 	

13

Sharing Information between
CODIS, AFIS, and Criminal
History Systems: Potential
Benefits
The technologies of the DNA database (CODIS),
fingerprint comparison (AFIS), and criminal history
record systems are highly effective, albeit costly,
tools for law enforcement. A detective no longer
needs to identify a suspect before a latent fingerprint
recovered from a crime scene is compared against a
file of fingerprints of persons previously arrested in
the jurisdiction, State, or nation. These automated
searches and comparisons have become routine.
The exchange of limited information among CODIS,
AFIS, and criminal history records would provide
law enforcement with the awareness that potential
probative forensic evidence exists that involves a
convicted or arrested offender.
Benefits derived from increased connectivity among
different forensic technologies should be explored
further. Of major benefit is the potential to increase
the accuracy, timeliness, and utility of information

14	

provided to the criminal justice community. More
hits, more exclusions, and a higher certainty of
identification can be realized by combining two
identification technologies (CODIS and AFIS) with
criminal history databases.
Legislation authorizing the expansion of DNA
databases to include new offenses often includes
two components. The first is an effective date
at which time all persons convicted of the new
offenses are required to provide a DNA sample. The
second provision may be retroactive and requires
the police to have knowledge of past convictions for
the newly authorized offenses. An accurate identity
and criminal history of the offender is critical for
the acquisition of the DNA sample. Technology can
provide an electronic comparison of the databases
(criminal history, CODIS, and AFIS) to identify who
is required to provide samples, and who has already
provided samples for the database. This connection
of the AFIS, CODIS, and criminal history databases
is even more critical when applied to violent crime
and sexual offender registries. Law enforcement
can then work more efficiently and accurately to
obtain DNA samples, providing more timely leads to
criminal investigators.

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing

Conclusion
The power of DNA technology both identifies and
excludes suspects. In criminal justice applications,
the data contained in the DNA profile is held
separate and apart from the identification and other
information, which constitute the criminal history
record, a circumstance that reflects broad-based
privacy concerns about the potential for misuse
of DNA profile information. While there is clear
consensus that personally identifying information
should not be present in DNA databases, it is that
very identifying information that an investigator
needs to connect the DNA match to a suspect.
The inclusion of DNA profile availability and
location information within the criminal history
record holds out the promise of several significant
operational and public safety benefits. If a suspect
has a DNA profile on the State DNA database and
the evidence in that case has been entered into
the database with no resulting matches, then
law enforcement may need to consider directing
investigative efforts elsewhere. Knowledge that
a DNA sample has not been provided when one
is statutorily required is also beneficial, as it will
promote the collection of samples without which
a correspondent reduction in public safety could
occur, or more recidivistic crimes remain unsolved.

At its December 2005 meeting, the FBI Criminal
Justice Information Services (CJIS) Advisory Policy
Board (APB)39 recommended to the FBI Director
several enhancements to address the inclusion
of DNA flags within the Interstate Identification
Index, the national criminal history record exchange
system administered by the FBI, including:
(1)	 allowing States to flag whether a subject’s DNA
profile is registered, and where that profile is
located;
(2)	 allowing a DNA indicator to be used to
indicate that DNA profiles are available at
both the State and national levels;
(3)	 a proposed protocol for the FBI Laboratory
Division to inform the Criminal Justice
Information Services Division of Federal
convicted offender DNA registration status
data; and
(4)	 the inclusion of DNA indicator information
on the criminal history record information
response to select inquiries.
In sum, these approaches respect privacy
concerns by keeping the barrier in place that
prevents criminal history information and other
personally identifying information from being
included in DNA databases, while at the same time
enhancing investigative capabilities through a more
informative criminal history record.

Mechanisms for coupling criminal history
information with select information about the
availability of DNA data are readily available
but have not been widely implemented—to the
detriment of a more efficient justice system.
The Interstate Criminal History Transmission
Specification provides for an indication on the rap
sheet that a DNA sample has been taken from the
subject, has been coded, and is available from a
specific agency. Similarly, several States, without
implementing the transfer of standardized criminal
history, have opted to flag the rap sheet with some
or all of this information.
39 The FBI CJIS APB is chartered under provisions of the Federal Advisory
Committee Act of 1972 to advise the FBI Director on criminal justice information services issues. The APB is comprised of a network of working groups and
subcommittees. The members represent local, State, and Federal law enforcement and criminal justice agencies throughout the United States, its territories,
and Canada. Source: CJIS Advisory Policy Board Advisory Process Information
Handbook, 2005.

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing 	

15

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DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing 	

17

About the Authors
W. Mark Dale is Director of the Northeast Regional
Forensic Institute (NERFI) located at the State
University of New York at Albany. NERFI provides
graduate-level training and instruction in forensic
DNA programs and serves as a resource for law
enforcement and other governmental forensic
laboratories through development of customized
DNA academies. Mr. Dale previously was Director
of the New York City Police Department Laboratory,
Director of the New York State Police Laboratory
System, and Director of the Washington State Patrol
Laboratory System, and is a past President of the
American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors.
Owen Greenspan is Director of the Law and Policy
Program for SEARCH, The National Consortium
for Justice Information and Statistics. SEARCH, a
nonprofit organization of the States, is dedicated to
improving the quality of justice and public safety
through the use, management, and exchange of
information; application of new technologies; and
responsible law and policy, while safeguarding
security and privacy. Mr. Greenspan previously
was Deputy Commissioner with the New York State
Division of Criminal Justice Services responsible
for the operation of the State’s criminal records
repository, provision of information technology
services to the State’s justice agencies, and
certification of police training. He is retired from
the New York City Police Department, where he last
served as Commanding Officer of the Identification
Section.
Dr. Donald Orokos is a tenured faculty member
at the State University of New York at Albany in
the Department of Biology, where he teaches cell
biology and immunology. Dr. Orokos also serves
as the Associate Director of NERFI, and provides
administrative oversight to all academic forensic
programs.

18	

DNA Forensics: Expanding Uses and Information Sharing

 

 

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