DNA post-conviction-DA objections

DNA post-conviction-DA objections

It is unfortunate when we read about District Attorney’s offices that object to DNA testing in post-conviction cases. They often cite that the prisoner is untimely in his or her request and there is no statutory basis for it. They argue that the conviction has become final. It seems in so arguing that they do not care about justice and the integrity of convictions. This saddens me greatly as I think it should for all of us.

Contrast that with the following article about the willingness and desire of our society to spend resources and money to make sure that we don’t step in dog poop.

As an outside objective observer, it is clear that we value poop-free shoes more than just convictions. For shame!

DNA for dogs, but not for people
DNA for dogs, but not for people

Doo-doo dumpers identified through doggie DNA

By The Associated Press
on November 27, 2013 at 11:55 AM, updated November 27, 2013 at 11:57 AM

BRAINTREE, Mass. — Apartment and condo managers, dogged by complaints from those who’ve experienced the squishy and smelly sensation of stepping onto a pile of dog doo, are turning to DNA testing to identify the culprits who don’t clean up after their pets.

It’s the latest twist in the long-running struggle to keep canine waste off lawns, hallways, elevators and other common areas of animal-friendly community buildings.

DNA monitoring has yielded immediate and dramatic results in the condominium community of Devon Wood, where maintenance staff previously reported seeing, stepping onto or driving over several piles of droppings each week on its 350-acre property.

“We initially didn’t — for a better part of a month — didn’t find any waste, which just floored us,” said Barbara Kansky, who manages the 398-unit condo development in the town of Braintree that introduced DNA monitoring in July.

Polite reminders, letters and notices previously failed to persuade errant pet owners to observe condo rules requiring them to clean up after their animals, Kansky said. There were problems even after residents reported seeing others failing to pick up their dog’s messes.

“Now, you don’t really have to worry about dog poop. You can walk where you want, the grass is now ours again.” – resident Kerry Weidner

“We would call or send a letter and that dog owner would say: ‘Prove it,'” Kansky said.

So she searched online and found Knoxville, Tenn.-based BioPet Vet Lab, which specializes in testing DNA from dog poop to identify offending animals. BioPet has beefed up its staff with more scientists to meet demand for what Eric Mayer, director of business development, calls “a booming, growing, new product,” and has started distributing throughout the U.S. and into Canada, Israel and Singapore in the past two years.

The service, branded PooPrints, is a very simple, Mayer said.

Barbara Kansky, condo manager of Devon Wood in Braintree, Mass., holds up a plastic bottle provided by the Knoxville, Tenn.-based BioPet Vet Lab to ship a small sample of feces. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The first step is to register the DNA of all dogs in the community by collecting samples of their cheek cells using a pair of sterile swabs, Mayer said in an email. The second is to collect a sample of feces and send it to the lab for matching.

An attorney advised Kansky that condo trustees could enforce existing condo rules by requiring all dog owners to submit their animals for collection of DNA samples. Dog owners paid a one-time fee of $59.95 for the initial DNA testing for the database. Subsequent lab tests of dog droppings that end up identifying the offending animal result in a $50 testing fee plus a $100 fine.

So far, one resident dog has been identified as an offender.

Kerry Weidner, a pet owner in Devon Wood, says the service has transformed life at the sprawling complex.

“We used to see dog poop almost every other day. You had to worry about where you walk on the grass because there was dog poop, a lot of different places,” Weidner said. “Now, you don’t really have to worry about dog poop. You can walk where you want, the grass is now ours again, we don’t have to worry about it, and that’s just a great thing.”

Now, Kansky said, residents want her to solve another problem.

“We’ve now had people say: ‘Well, now can we get them to stop having their dogs lift their legs on the shrubs?'” Kansky said, smiling. “That’s a little more difficult and we are not going to tackle that.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *