This is one reason why the percentage of solved rape cases has plummeted from 94% in the ’70s to less than 50% today! All of it is due to the war on drugs!
Mr. Coupe has told me himself that the medical examiner’s office is so inundated with testing for drug cases that it is way behind on work in more serious cases! He told me that over coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts right after being appointed secretary of Delaware’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security, and it still is true today.
Easy to spot the branch of the tree which applies to this situation!
Excerpts from the Article:
DNA samples from about 1,600 Delaware criminals were found in a box in the state Medical Examiner’s Office in 2014, having never been entered into a national database of sex offenders and others convicted of crimes, The News Journal has learned. One of those samples was taken from convicted sex offender Kili Mayfield in 2002. As it sat untested, police and prosecutors say the 39-year-old raped one woman. Then another. Then another.
Had the sample been entered into the national database, two of those attacks could have been prevented.
“What occurred here is unacceptable,” said Robert Coupe, secretary of Delaware’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security. “It’s very concerning and if it somehow put our community at risk, that’s very unfortunate.”
Mayfield targeted strangers he found around Wilmington’s West Center City neighborhood, according to court documents. In two of the incidents, he lured the women with offers of rides.
When the women turned down his advances, he turned violent, the documents show. After one woman told Mayfield she was not a prostitute, court documents said he punched her into unconsciousness. The woman awoke as he dragged her out of the car. When she tried to fight him off, he hit her in the face and choked her causing her to pass out several times, the documents state. When the woman again became conscious, her pants and shoes were off and Mayfield was no longer around, court documents show.
Coupe said an investigation is planned into why the DNA samples were never sent to the national database. Depending on those findings, he said the state Department of Justice could be brought in for further investigation.
John R. Evans, director of the Division of Forensic Science, said several procedures have been put into place to prevent a reoccurrence. That includes having three people (instead of one previously) able to upload DNA samples to the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, a national law enforcement database used to help identify criminals.
Agencies from across the country send DNA from crime scenes into the database and see if they get a match from those previously convicted of crimes. The evidence is cross-checked regularly. But the system only works if the data is put into the system.
State officials did not explain to The News Journal why the Medical Examiner’s Office did not upload the samples into CODIS. “No one employed in the DNA lab in 2002 remains in the unit today,” said Wendy Hudson, a spokeswoman with Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security. The 1,600 samples accounted for about 27 percent of the more than 5,800 samples entered into CODIS by the Delaware DNA lab from 2001 to 2012.
The box of un-entered samples — which were essentially punch cards with DNA specimens collected by the state Department of Correction — were found in the Wilmington building of the state Medical Examiner’s Office. Evans said “it took several weeks to months” to go through the 1,600 samples and enter them into the national database.