Friday, January 18, 2008

Canada should follow this story

DNA tests flush out old crimes

Imates here in Canada should be DNA tested!

A RAPIST, a carjacker and a serial burglar are among hundreds of criminals facing more time in prison after NSW Police secured 300 cold-case convictions in a year through DNA testing.
Police Minister David Campbell said more than 2400 inmates were DNA tested in 2006-07, allowing investigators to compare those samples with evidence collected at the scenes of unsolved crimes.
He said more than 10,000 samples had been collected in the testing regime, which began in 2001 and was securing good results for victims of crime and their families.
"These inmates will be spending more time in jail than they thought," Mr Campbell said. "This program is making criminals pay, and providing justice for victims."
The minister said the database to which criminals' DNA was compared contained samples from crime scenes dating back to the early 1990s. The DNA testing had led to 300 new convictions and more would follow, he said.
Among the inmates convicted of previously unsolved crimes are:
■ A 36-year-old who was serving four months for assault received another eight years after his DNA identified him as the man who abducted and sexually assaulted a 40-year-old woman in a Lewisham park in 1997.
■ A 34-year-old serving three years for armed robbery received another seven years after his DNA matched samples left after a man was forced from his car, stabbed and robbed by a carjacker in inner Sydney in 2003.
■ A 36-year-old on six months periodic detention for breaking and entering had his DNA tested in 2006 after police set up a strike force to investigate 58 burglaries in Sydney between 2003 and 2006. His sample came up positive at all 58 crime scenes.
Mr Campbell said the cold-case convictions should remind "criminals that they can't relax … the NSW Police Force will track you down, and you will be caught".