JURIST Supported by the University of Pittsburgh

Today in legal history...

Friday, December 09, 2011

Massachusetts high court authorized DNA warrants for unknown suspects
Cody Harding at 12:00 AM ET

On December 9, 2010, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Commonwealth v. Jerry Dixon that prosecutors can indict "John Doe" genetic profiles in rape cases, even without knowing the suspect's name. Specifically, the decision allows prosecutors to indict a suspect's genetic profile so that the state will not be barred by statutes of limitations after apprehending a suspect. Dixon's then-anonymous DNA profile was indicted in 2006 for rapes that occurred in 1991 — the statute of limitations for those charges was 15 years. Dixon was identified in 2007 after being required to submit a DNA sample when he was convicted on separate motor vehicle charges. The California Supreme Court had previously authorized similar DNA warrants for unknown suspects in January 2010.

Learn more about Massachusetts and the laws governing DNA from the JURIST news archive.

Link post | IM post | go to JURIST | © JURIST, 2011


 William the Conqueror invades England, leading to major legal and political reform
September 28, 2016

 President Millard Filmore signed bill banning flogging in the navy
September 28, 2016

 President Millard Filmore signed bill banning flogging in the navy
September 28, 2016

 click for more...


Add This Day at Law to your RSS reader or personalized portal:
  • Add to Google
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Subscribe with Bloglines
  • Add to My AOL


Subscribe to This Day at Law alerts via R|mail. Enter your e-mail address below. After subscribing and being returned to this page, please check your e-mail for a confirmation message.
MyBlogAlerts also e-mails alerts of new This Day at Law entries. It's free and fast, but ad-based.


This Day at Law welcomes reader comments, tips, URLs, updates and corrections. E-mail us at archives@jurist.org