Texas Says DNA Technology Jeopardizes Cases

AUSTIN — With a name that sounds like futuristic fiction, Rapid DNA machines roughly the size of an office printer have helped solve rape cases in Kentucky, identified California wildfire victims and verified family connections of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.Now a state board in Texas has asked a growing government provider of the DNA equipment used in those high-profile projects to halt work amid concerns of potentially jeopardized criminal cases, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press.Texas is not the only place where the company, Longmont, Colorado-based ANDE, has come under scrutiny. Utah officials say they will likely no longer use Rapid DNA machines for sexual assault investigations, citing a higher degree of technical analysis required, but one case raised concerns about swabs taken from a victim. And when the Arizona Legislature this year considered creating a new statewide DNA database, ANDE helped draft the bill that included language excluding its only U.S. competitor, giving some lawmakers discomfort."Prosecutors are saying, 'You're screwing up our cases,'" said Lynn Garcia, general counsel of the Texas Forensic Science Commission.  Continue reading...

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