DNA Data Bank Oversight Panel

Minutes of meeting of March 9, 2010

Present at the meeting were Michael Bourke, Department of Public Safety (DPS) - Forensic Lab; Wanda White-Lewis, Department of Correction (DOC); George Camp, DOC; Lynn Milling, DOC; Sam Izzarelli, DPS; Joe Biela, DPS; Michael Gailor, Office of the Chief State's Attorney; and Karen Goodrow.

Upon motion and second, the minutes of the meeting of December 8, 2009, were accepted. 

Report of Department of Public Safety - Forensic Lab:

As of February 28, 2010, approximately 76,616 convicted offender samples have been submitted to the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory.  Of these samples, 65,591 have been profiled and are resident in CODIS resulting in a backlog of 11,025 samples.  The lab reports that as of the end of February they have confirmed 1,323 hits.  882 samples were received in February.

The laboratory is processing offender samples at a rate of over 2,000 per month. The lab anticipates eliminating the offender backlog prior to the end of 2010 and is currently processing samples from early 2009.

The lab has filled the first of two federally funded positions and is interviewing for the second position.  The lab also anticipates hiring someone to fill the position funded by the Project Innocence grant in early April.

The lab is no longer outsourcing the profiling of samples.  The second contract with Lab Corp. has been completed and the data has been reviewed and entered into CODIS.

The lab has determined that a convicted offender is linked by a DNA hit to a sexual assault committed eight months after a sample was taken upon the offender’s conviction of an unrelated offense.  The lab is hoping that with the elimination of the backlog samples will be able to be uploaded into the CODIS databank within thirty days of the sample being given.

Department of Correction Report:

The Department of Correction is now collecting samples from incarcerated individuals who have not previously provided samples.  They report that they have 3075 such individuals from whom they must obtain samples.  To date, they have collected 2268 samples and have had 358 refusals.  They expect to approach individuals at Northern Correctional in the near future.

Report of Connecticut State Police:

The CSP reported that they are owed approximately 3400 samples from persons who are not incarcerated.  They are only successful in obtaining samples from approximately one-third of the individuals from whom they are supposed to collect.  They indicate the biggest problem is that they only have one location from which to collect the samples.  They are seeking a legislative change which will allow CSSD to collect the samples.  They anticipate CSSD will have a greater success rate because they collect at more locations.

Public Comment

Karen Goodrow of the Innocence Project reports that progress is being made on the effort to review some older convictions. Cases of interest are being reviewed and interviews are being conducted. She reports that samples from the first case which is going to be reviewed should be arriving at the lab today.

Executive Session

At 10:38 a.m., the Committee voted to go into Executive Session to discuss a matter relating to the identity of someone in the databank. After coming out of Executive Session at 10:43 a.m., the Committee reported that no action was taken on that matter.

The meeting adjourned at 11:45 a.m. The next meeting of the Panel is scheduled for June 8, 2010.