The Bush administration is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to perform DNA analysis in unsolved rapes and other old cases and to make improvements in the nation’s computerized DNA crime-fighting system, reports USA Today. The funding could exceed $800 million over five years. Congress appropriated $106 million for DNA testing from 2000 through 2003.
A source of controversy is the omission of significant funding aimed at exonerating the innocent or preventing wrongful convictions. that is a key element in a DNA bill stalled in the Senate since fall.
The FBI has more than 1.6 million DNA profiles and has scored matches in more than 12,000 cases. Barry Scheck of the New York-based Innocence Project said the decision to bypass provisions that could free the innocent was “truly unfortunate.” The project has used DNA tests to exonerate 142 convicts.