Harringtons Support Controversial Form of DNA Searches

November 15, 2010

A legislative panel says Virginia likely won't need a new law allowing a controversial form of DNA searches. Although, the Virginia State Crime Commission said Monday that legislators may want to set up guidelines for familial DNA searches.

These searches help identify criminal suspects using genetic material from their relatives. Currently, only Colorado and California use familial DNA searches.

"Ten murders over a period of 12 years. They would have never been solved it it were not for familial DNA. It turned out the true offender was not on the database and never convicted on the kind of crime," said former California prosecutor, Rockne Harmon.

According to an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Morgan Harrington's parents, Dan and Gil, are in support of the searches and feel they could be another tool to help their daughter's killer.

The commission could vote next month whether to recommend legislation concerning the searches.

Department of Forensic Science officials had hoped to get some guidance from the commission at its meeting Monday. Director Pete Marone says the agency will wait to hear from legislators before moving forward.

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