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Tag Archives: dna

Supreme Court skeptical of warrantless DNA collection (access required)

WASHINGTON – As they grilled the lawyers arguing before them on the issue of whether police can collect DNA samples from unconvicted arrestees without a warrant, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged just how high the stakes are. “I think this is, perhaps, the most important criminal procedure case that this court has heard in decades,” said Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. during oral arguments last week in the case Maryland v. King.

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‘Touch’ DNA up for scrutiny

Mark Bradley Carver, the man convicted of the 2008 murder of UNC-Charlotte student Irina Yarmolenko, will remain in prison after the North Carolina Court of Appeals rejected his argument that the trial court judge should have dismissed the charges because they were entirely dependent on the presence of Carver’s “touch” DNA.

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Criminal Practice – DNA – Innocence Claim – Blood on Defendant – Firing Into Occupied Premises (access required)

State v. Hewson Nearly all of the evidence – the content of the victim’s 911 call; the position of defendant, his gun, the shell casings, the broken glass in the victim’s house, and the victim herself; and the fact that law enforcement had to break down the door to get into the house – indicated that defendant discharged his weapon into the victim’s house from outside the house, and defendant was convicted of first-degree murder based on premeditation and deliberation and based on felony murder, with discharging a firearm into occupied property as the underlying felony. Although blood was found on defendant’s pants, the court rejects his request for DNA analysis of the blood, based on his contention that he was in close proximity to the victim at some point, giving him the basis for a heat-of-passion defense to first-degree murder based on premeditation and deliberation with a potential reduction in charge to second-degree murder.

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Criminal Practice – Restaurant Robbery – Identification – Cell Phone Calls — DNA (access required)

U.S. v. Bonner The government’s circumstantial evidence linking defendant to a Subway restaurant robbery through cell phone calls and DNA on a Yankees cap is not sufficient to identify him as a perpetrator, as store employees’ only descriptions of the two robbers were that they were African-American and wore masks and bulky coats; the 4th Circuit affirms the district court decision that overturned defendant’s armed robbery conviction.

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Pending bills would revamp points of family practice (access required)

Matters at the heart of the practice of family law in North Carolina are the focus of several bills pending in the state's legislature this spring. Two bills address the payment of child support by non-parents, two would alter provisions relating to protective orders and one would mandate the awarding of attorney's fees to prevailing defendants in cases.

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