This report explains the goals, features, and requirements of the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJS’) program called Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA, which provides funding to support agencies in resolving violent crime cold cases.
The two program objectives are 1) to prosecute cold cases that involve violent crimes with DNA evidence that has identified suspects, and 2) to decrease the number of unresolved violent crime cold cases awaiting prosecution. The program requires 1) that a prosecutorial body be a fully engaged project partner; 2) suspects’ DNA profiles have already been obtained (can be known or unknown suspects); and 3) forensic genetic genealogy must follow the Department of Justice interim policy. Program funding and number of awards are reported for fiscal years 2019, 2020, and 2021. Some program accomplishments thus far are also listed. They include 1) multiple suspect profiles uploaded to CODIS, IAFIS/AFIS; 2) overtime granted to work cold cases; 3) numerous cases with suspect DNA identified are pending prosecution; and about six investigative leads have been produced through forensic genetic genealogy work.