DNA Data Bank Oversight Panel

Minutes of the Meeting of December 12, 2017
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) Forensic Science Laboratory
Meriden, Connecticut

The meeting convened at 9:37 a.m. Present at the meeting were Carll Ladd, DESPP-Forensic Lab, Kristin Sasinouski, DESPP-Lab; Patricia Johannes, DESPP-Forensic Lab; Megan Olt, DESPP-Forensic Lab; Janet Ainsworth, DESPP-Legal; Michael Aiello, Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division (CSSD); Darcy McGraw, Connecticut Innocence Project; Joe Lopez, Public Defender; Carly Leverson, Public Defender; Scott Caroon, DESPP, Sexual Offender Registry Unit; and Michael Gailor, Office of the Chief State's Attorney (OCSA).

The minutes of the meeting on September 12, 2017, were amended to reflect that from April through June 2017, the Judicial Department sent 368 letters scheduling the collection of DNA samples to individuals who had been sentenced to a period of probation and 187 “warning” letters to persons who did not respond to the initial letters and, subsequently, unanimously approved as amended.

The lab reported that as of November 30, 2017, approximately 119,671 convicted offender samples have been submitted to the lab; 984 were submitted between September 1 and November 30 of this year.Of these samples, 6757 were determined to be duplicate submissions. One hundred eleven thousand eight hundred fifty-three have been profiled and reside in the Combined DNA Index SystemCODIS.Approximately 1,021 convicted offender samples are waiting to be processed/entered into CODIS.

There are 11,725 profiles in the Forensic Index. One thousand five hundred twenty-one incomplete cases are assigned to DNA and 1,139 are assigned to Forensic Biology.

The lab reported that 4,735 investigations have been aided so far by 4,764 confirmed hits. Approximately 48 candidate matches are under evaluation. The average time it takes to send out notification of the hit once it has been obtained is thirteen days.

The lab reported that the manufacturer of the kits requested that, if possible, all of the organizations in the state of Connecticut order kits at the same time.Representatives of the Judicial Branch and the Sexual Offender Registry indicated that they would attempt to comply with the request.

The Judicial Branch reported that from July through September 2017, it sent 482 letters scheduling the collection of DNA samples to individuals who had been sentenced to a period of probation and 157 “warning” letters to persons who did not respond to the initial letters. It collected 404 samples from individuals on probation. During that period of time, 187 people were convicted of qualifying offenses but were not sentenced to periods of probation. Of that number 62 or 33% needed to provide DNA samples. The Judicial Department sent 4 memos to the Department of Correction seeking their assistance in collecting DNA samples and no warrants to the State Police.

The Department of Correction reported that it has drawn 1500 samples from inmates this year and from 493 in the last quarter.They have 123 pending draws. Currently, 130 inmates have refused to provide a sample in violation of the statutes.

The Sex Offender Registration Unit of DESPP reported that it obtained samples from 20 sex offenders and 7 individuals who registered in the deadly weapons offender registry. The unit also reported that it has prepared 6 new warrants for persons who refused to provide a sample.

Darcy McGraw from the Innocence Project reported that her organization is going to be hiring or enlisting someone to work on a grant to review cases in which convictions were obtained on the basis of microscopic hair examination. In connection with the grant, the lab has already hired an intern to review the cases and collate information from them and is in the process of hiring a laboratory assistant to process the evidence should retesting be deemed necessary.  It is anticipated that the Division of Criminal Justice will be enlisting someone to work on the grant in the near future. 

Joe Lopez reported that, if the Department of Correction could provide him with a list of the individuals who have refused to provide a sample, his office would assist in attempting to get the Public Defender clients to comply.

The meetings for the next calendar year were scheduled for March 13, June 12, September 11, and December 11, 2018.

At 10:19 a.m., the meeting was adjourned.