DNA

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia State Crime Commission has recommended expanding the list of crimes that require a convict's DNA sample.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Monday that the legislation would add several misdemeanors to a DNA database. They include assault and battery, domestic assault and shoplifting.

Opponents of the measure argue that such an expansion would disproportionately affect minorities. It could also strain the budget.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia officials are studying a DNA database expansion to include more people convicted of misdemeanors.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that supporters expect a larger database to help solve more crimes, but opponents say an expansion raises cost and privacy concerns. The Department of Forensic Science's website shows Virginia's database now holds more than 415,000 offender DNA profiles.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers are eyeing legislation requiring people who have been arrested for, but not convicted of, certain crimes to submit to DNA testing.

Under current law, a person convicted of a sexual offense, or an offense relating to children or a person deemed incompetent, must submit to DNA testing. Results are stored in a database used by law enforcement as a crime-solving tool.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A man who spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he didn't commit could be getting $1.55 million from Virginia.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that a bill to provide compensation to 60-year-old Keith Allen Harward is awaiting Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe's signature.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants Virginia to be more forgiving when it comes to lower-level crimes while making it easier for new DNA evidence to exonerate the wrongfully convicted.

The governor, a Democrat, announced several legislative priorities Tuesday aimed at overhauling the state's criminal justice system.

They include raising the threshold for felony theft from $200 to $500 and restricting the state's ability to suspend driver's licenses for certain crimes or unpaid court debts.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals says DNA evidence proves that two men had nothing to do with the rape and beating of a Norfolk woman two decades ago.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Innocence Project filed papers Tuesday in the Supreme Court of Virginia arguing that DNA tests prove that Nathaniel E. Epps and Percell F. Warren were wrongfully convicted in the attack. The organization says the evidence available for testing at the time was limited.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Officials will review old Virginia criminal cases that involved the testing of blood types, following the exoneration of a man who spent 33 years in prison for crimes he did not commit.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Virginia Department of Forensic Science Director Linda Jackson told the agency's board members Wednesday that they'll start reviewing 200 cases from 1982, 1986 and 1990 to look for any problems.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's highest court says a man convicted of rape and murder more than three decades ago is innocent and should be released from prison.

The Virginia Supreme Court granted Keith Allen Harward's petition for a writ of actual innocence on Thursday after new DNA tests failed to identify Harward's genetic profile in sperm left at the crime scene. Harward received a life sentence for the 1982 killing of Jesse Perron and the rape of his wife.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's attorney general says DNA evidence proves that a man who is serving a life sentence was wrongfully convicted of rape and murder more than three decades ago.

Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring said in a news release Wednesday that his office has filed a brief in the Supreme Court of Virginia, arguing that 59-year-old Keith Allen Harward's conviction should be vacated.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Before prosecutors rested their case, a Baltimore Police Department DNA expert testified that Freddie Gray's blood was found inside a police wagon on a bench, a wall and a seatbelt.
 
Gray was a 25-year-old black man who died a week after his neck was broken while he was being transported in handcuffs and shackles in the back of a police transport van.
 
Thomas Hebert testified Tuesday at the manslaughter trial of Officer William Porter. Hebert was the state's 15th witness.
 
He says samples from eight bloodstains contained Gray's DNA.

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