DNA Data Bank Oversight Panel

Minutes of the Meeting of June 13, 2017
(Corrected per minutes of September 12, 2017, meeting)
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) Forensic Science Laboratory
Meriden, Connecticut

The meeting convened at 9:36 a.m. Present at the meeting were Dahong Sun, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP)-Forensic Lab; 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 Services Support Division (CSSD); Elizabeth Tugie, Department of Correction (DOC), David Maiga, DOC; Darcy McGraw, Connecticut Innocence Project; Matthew Garcia, DESPP, Sex Offender Registry Unit; Shelby Devanney, Intern (Office of the Chief State's Attorney) OCSA; and Michael Gailor, OCSA.

The minutes of the meeting on March 28, 2017, were unanimously approved.

The lab reported that as of May 31, 2017, approximately 117,700 convicted offender samples have been submitted to the lab; 727 were submitted on or after March 25 of this year. Of these samples, 6,733 were determined to be duplicate submissions. One hundred ten thousand one hundred ninety-nine have been profiled and reside in the Combined DNA Index System(CODIS). Approximately 704 convicted offender samples are waiting to be processed/entered into CODIS.

There are 10,807 profiles in the Forensic Index. Two thousand twenty-one incomplete cases are assigned to DNA and 710 are assigned to Forensic Biology.

The lab reported that 4,333 investigations have been aided so far by 4,345 confirmed hits. Approximately 60 candidate matches are under evaluation. The average time it takes to send out notification of the hit once it has been obtained has been reduced to nine days.

The lab reported that the next update on the CODIS software has been delayed but they expect that it will be available by the end of the year or the beginning of next year.

The Judicial Branch reported that from January through March 2017, it sent 380 letters scheduling the collection of DNA samples to individuals who had been sentenced to a period of probation and 149 “warning” letters to persons who did not respond to the initial letters. It collected 353 samples from individuals on probation. During that period of time, 277 people were convicted of qualifying offenses but were not sentenced to periods of probation. Of that number 112, or 40 percent, needed to provide DNA samples. The Judicial Branch sent 21 memos to the Department of Correction seeking their assistance in collecting DNA samples and 10 warrants to the State Police.

The Department of Correction reported that it has collected 431 samples since the meeting and 886 in the year to date. The DOC also reported that draws are pending from 185 inmates and that 131 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 25 sex offenders, 4 deadly weapon offenders, and prepared 8 new warrants for persons who refused to provide a sample.

Darcy McGraw from the Innocence Project reported that funds from the grant to review cases in which convictions were obtained on the basis of microscopic hair examination have yet to be released. She also noted that Alfred Swinton’s conviction, which relied in part on bite mark evidence, was overturned and he was awarded a new trial.

The Committee went into executive session at 10:05 a.m. The Committee came out of executive session at 10:21 a.m. As a result of the discussions in executive session the following is reported:

  • Sample 3/28/17-A shall be purged.
  • Sample 3/28/17-B shall be purged.
  • Sample 3/22/16-A shall be purged.
  • Sample 12/13/16-D shall be purged.
  • Sample 6/13/17-A – the identity of the individual will be amended to reflect his use of multiple names.
  • Sample 16/13/17-B - sample to be maintained in non-searching database pending further information. 

At 10:22 a.m., the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting of the Oversight Committee was scheduled for September 12, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. at the Forensic Science Laboratory.