Many serious and violent crimes go unpunished in North Carolina and across the country simply because prosecutors do not have the evidence to link alleged perpetrators to their crimes. For many years, local, state and national law enforcement agencies have relied on a nationwide database of DNA samples to link suspects to sex offenses and other crimes. The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) has helped solve many crimes throughout the country, and North Carolina has made more than 100 arrests using the technology.
Arrest reports from North Carolina’s Attorney General
The Attorney General for North Carolina, Josh Stein, recently published a report detailing the effectiveness of using CODIS. All law enforcement agencies in the state must report any arrests they make using CODIS to the State Crime Lab. Since 2017, they have made more than 100 arrests for crimes such as rape, kidnapping, sex offenses, attempted murder and other serious crimes. Some recent arrests include:
- A 2020 arrest of a man for rape, kidnapping and sexual offenses dating back to 1995.
- A 2019 arrest for a man charged with numerous counts of rape, sexual offenses and other crimes dating back to 2009.
- A 2022 arrest of a man charged with rapes in 1997 and 2002.
- A 2022 arrest of a man wanted for rape, burglary and kidnapping dating back 17 years.
The report mentioned that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police made 24 arrests, and the Durham and Fayetteville police made 14 and 12 arrests, respectively. The use of CODIS has helped close many cold cases involving sex crimes and other serious offenses.
Right to defense
Although the arrests may provide a sense of closure for victims, those arrested and charged with crimes still retain the right to an effective criminal defense. While DNA evidence can be particularly damning to an accused individual, he or she can work with an experienced criminal defense attorney in North Carolina for assistance. A lawyer can challenge any evidence presented to help a client obtain an acquittal, or a lawyer can help a client mitigate any potential penalties by advocating on their behalf at sentencing. Either way, an attorney will have his or her client’s best interests at heart and will fight to protect their rights and future.