Virginia Leading the Country on DNA Databank

December 31, 2006  |  Charlottesville-Right Now - WINA Radio

Excerpts From Interview

[I've contacted] Governor Kaine and asked him if he would get the Virginia State run all convicted felons since 1990 against the DNA databank and see what the difference big a number we're looking at?

I thought everything was up and running and we were doing great things in Virginia.. But in searching persons of interest, we've started seeing that there were people that had prior felony convictions and should have been in the DNA databank and were not. So I talked to probation and parole recently and this summer they had an intern pull 600 samples of felons under supervision in Charlottesville-Albemarle just to compare it to the databank and found out 125 that should have been in the databank were not. I did some more examination and I talked to some people in Richmond that had run the sex offender registry against the databank and found out 21 percent on the sex offender registry weren't in the databank..

[Based on those statistics] I wouldn't be a bit surprised if we were missing 50,000 samples or better. Now what does that mean.? If tonight we went out and found 50,000 people that are convicted felons and put those samples in, tomorrow morning we'd have roughly 735 hits.. [And those crimes would] be solved bing, bing, bing.

Charlottesville alone, in about a four year period, we had 57 hits [where DNA samples from crime scenes were matched with DNA on file from known offenders]. And we were told by national experts that we, per capita, were leading the entire country. Just our little town of 40,000.. There are 10 to 15 states combined-whole states-that haven't had the number of hits from crimes scenes that we've had right here in Charlottesville.

J. E. "Chip" Harding

Albemarle Sheriff's Office
410 E. High Street
Charlottesville, Va 22902