Wednesday, 14 Nov 2018
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Go. Missing criminal database 750,000 cases used for firearms and background checks, crime scene investigations

The murder of Vanessa Pham in Fairfax County, Virginia was not resolved until the suspect was arrested years later for shoplifting and her fingerprint entered the state system. Jean Escobedo, expert fingerprint, explains the corresponding tests to a jury. A new report indicates that 675,000 cases in Virginia do not have fingerprints in the system. (Nikki Kahn / The Washington Post) Tom Jackman Reporter Covering Criminal Justice at Local and National Level On October 28, at 7 am, staff members of the Virginia Criminal Commission conducted an astonishing review of the discovery of the central registry of lockers State judicial system: the judicial system had registered about 11 million convictions. dating back to 2000, but the criminal record database contained only 10.2 million convictions. More than 750,000 cases were not in the Virginia State-run system, including more than 300 convictions for murder, 1,300 convictions for rape and 4,600 convictions for criminal assault. This is the database used by the courts and the police to verify a person's background, often to determine which charge or sentence is appropriate. It is a database used by state police in Virginia and across the country to determine if a person is eligible to buy a firearm. This is what state agencies and employers verify if a person has a belief that could prevent them from working, for example, in an early childhood center. It is also the repository of fingerprints that investigators use to try to match a fingerprint on a crime scene to a potential author. "What I can discern, is that there is confusion and breakdowns," said Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg), chairman of the crime commission, "and these problems must be resolved. The list of offenses is pretty staggering. The Crime Commission, which studies justice issues and recommends solutions to the Virginia General Assembly, has determined that the problem arises from the failure to capture the fingerprints of an accused when charged. If this step is forgotten, no record of a person's arrest is in the database. About 90% of the 751,154 missing records, over 675,000, were missing fingerprints. Another 76,000 were missing because of other mistakes. Of the cases where fingerprints are missing, 35% are crimes and 65% are crimes, revealed the commission of the crime. But the offenses can include drug charges, assault, drunk driving and domestic violence, which can result in the conviction of anyone looking for a firearm or a professional license. The absence of fingerprints can also prevent the police from solving crimes. "This is probably the most worrisome," said Henrico County Police Chief Humberto I. Cardounel, who is part of a group of law enforcement officials and courts trying to understand how the problem arose and how to solve it. "Our fingerprint system is as good as what it contains. If impressions are not entered, you run the risk of submitting a set of latent prints. [from a crime] and not having a match "with a suspect who should have been in the system, said Cardounel.
A fingerprint brush and a black latent print powder are used to lift fingerprints from the objects of a crime scene. When an impression is obtained, it is submitted to the state's fingerprint database for eventual correspondence, but a new report indicates that 675,000 impressions are missing in the database. (Adam Ewing for the Washington Post Magazine) At the time of the arrest, the defendants were fingerprinted for a class 1 or class 2 crime, and the fingerprints and charges were sent electronically to the police. of the State with a document control number. each charge. When a conviction or acquittal has the same control number, it is added to the person's record. But this process can collapse in many ways. One of the ways is when a person is arrested and released on a summons, often for possession of marijuana, without being taken to jail. Officers and MPs do not normally take fingerprints of a person arrested in the street, officials said. When the person goes to court and is convicted, or gets himself fined, the fingerprints are sometimes not taken to the courthouse. More than 70,000 drug convictions, more than 70,000 convictions for simple assault and more than 37,000 convictions for drunk driving do not appear in the state's database, the commission said. offenses in a report published on 11 October. The crimes have also been omitted. In addition to rape and murder, more than 2,500 convictions for robbery and nearly 1,500 convictions for weapons offenses are missing from the database. According to Kristen Howard, executive director of the commission for the fight against crime, one of the alleged problems is that an accused is charged with several counts but that fingerprints are not associated that only one charge leader who was dismissed. Or when a new charge may be added as part of a plea agreement and that the initial charge is dismissed. Although 96% of Virginia jurisdictions now use the Live Scan Imaging Device to capture and transmit fingerprints, this has been gradually adopted in the state from 2000, meaning that fingerprints ink on the old school cards may belong to defendants accused of several counts. Even on Live Scan, a set of fingerprints can only be applied to up to 15 counts; a person's fingers must be scanned again to allow for further charges, said Lieutenant Keenon Hook of the National Police. Direct indictments may pose another problem, when an accused is charged without having been arrested and put on hold on a warrant. In some courts, defendants may appear for indictment and leave the courthouse without fingerprints. Smaller counties may not have the necessary staff to manage fingerprints at every possible step, officials said. "At the end of these cases, everyone presumes that someone else has had fingerprints," Del said. Rob Bell (R-Albemarle), vice-chair of the commission and former public prosecutor in the private defense sector. "With the most serious charges, with more people involved, it's less clear who's responsible, we'll set a default method and make sure that does not happen anymore." The state police employs 120 people who manage the central criminal records exchange and work full-time to resolve discrepancies When a case goes to court but neither the police nor the sheriff have given him fingerprints or information. 39, arrest, letters were sent to the arresting agency, said Hook.This translates into about 10 to 15% of incomplete registrations being completed.The rest is placed in a "lock file" during the exchange of records, where more than 30,000 cases a year have accumulated in recent years, found the commission of the crime.While a person was convicted of a crime, this is not figu would not fit into a background check because the case was not initially recorded in the system. When a background check request arrives and the database does not include the outcome of the case, the state police will contact the courts or agencies. arrest to try to find the record, often in a few minutes, said Hook. The same is true for firearm purchase checks through the Firearms Transaction Center, where such background checks should not, under the law , exceed three days. He added that gun dealers usually wait more than three days if the check is not completed. In addition to guns and employment, criminal records are used for the sex offender registry, the DNA database, as well as for sentencing and bail. Hook said that 40% of inquiries in the database were for background checks. He also noted that about 40% of the missing crime cases were probation violations, which often include copy prints of the original conviction. Most background checks will only provide data on convictions. But some organizations, such as law enforcement, have access to the entire arrest record of a person. Howard said the crime commission staff discovered the contradiction in his research on deferred cases involving marijuana. The commission issued 13 recommendations and a series of policy options, including requiring state police to send monthly notifications to agencies involved in an incomplete case and forcing courts to verify that fingerprints were collected. . .

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