Rapid DNA Testing and Virginia’s Rape Kit Backlog: A Double-Edged Sword Masquerading as a Miracle, or the Future of Forensic Analysis?
Emma C. Greger*
When authorities in Richland County, South Carolina, arrived on the scene after receiving a report of shots fired on July 29, 2014, they found a wounded man but no suspect. The victim seemed to have been on the receiving end of an armed robbery gone wrong and had been shot during a “physical altercation” with the would be thief. Because of this “physical altercation,” officers from the sheriff’s department were able to recover deoxyribonucleic acid (“DNA”) samples from the victim’s clothing. A short time later, suspect Brandon Berry was taken into custody after being apprehended at a traffic stop; Berry would go on to be convicted of, among other charges, attempted murder and attempted armed robbery.
* J.D. Candidate, 2019, University of Richmond School of Law. B.A., 2014, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I want to express my gratitude to Professor Mary Kelly Tate, who both inspired me to write on the intersection of human genetics and the law, and offered invaluable feedback throughout the drafting process. A huge thank you to the staff of the University of Richmond Law Review for helping prepare this article for publication. Finally, special thanks to my family and to my best friend, Lilias Gordon, for their support, ideas, and willingness to listen.