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Faculty of Law

Invitation to a seminar on Victim Empowerment through the use of DNA Forensics

By Yolanda Booyzen

Posted on 09 March 2011



This seminar is hosted by the Centre of Human Rights, Faculty of Law and organised by inqaba biotec and Bode Technology.


Date: Wednesday 23 March 2011
Time:
13:00 - 16:00 started by a light finger lunch at 12:30 and with a coffee break
Venue: SRC Chamber, Conference Centre University of Pretoria

Please RSVP by Friday 18 March with Ms Carole Viljoen:
Tel: 012 420 38 10
Email: carole.viljoen@up.ac.za or info@inqababiotec.co.za

Our international speakers:
  • Prof Keith Findley, Co-director of the Innocent Project at the University of Wisconsin (USA): Prof Findley is a lawyer by training and has worked extensively in the Criminal Justice field as a public defender. It is this experience that led to his working on the Innocence Project. This project focuses on using DNA Forensics technology to exonerate inmates in prison who were wrongly convicted. Till this point, over 200 prisoners have been exonerated in the USA.
  • Mrs Lavinia Masters, Founder and Director of the S.A.V.E. (Sexual Assault/Abuse Victim Empowering) Ministry, USA: Through the use of DNA Forensics was how Mrs Masters’ “cold case” sexual assault was solved over 20 years later and since then she have been a voice for many silent victims and advocate for the use of DNA Forensics. Mrs Masters has worked extensively with the Dallas Police Department as a spokesperson for more funding and served as a witness and advocate before the House and Senate for a bill that would allow DNA evidence to be placed on the record of “cold case” offenders which has since became law in Texas in September 2009. She has also worked with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and CNN to initiate a new rape kit law which was ultimately signed into law July 2010.
  • Mr Ed Huffine, Vice President of International Development at Bode Technology, USA: Mr Huffine is involved in the humanitarian aspects of DNA Forensics, liaising with governments, donor organizations and relatives of missing persons. He successfully set up and ran processes that brought closure to many in the advent of the Balkan wars, attack on World Trade Centre and Hurricane Katrina.
  • Mr Chris Asplen, Founder and Director of DNA 4 Africa: Mr Asplen is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and local prosecutor specializing in the prosecution of sex crime and child abuse. He was also formerly the Executive Director of the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence for the U.S. Department of Justice and Director of the DNA Unit for the National District Attorneys Association. Currently, he consults with local, state, and foreign governments and law enforcement agencies on the use of forensic DNA technology. Chris is also a member of the Crime Victim Bar Association. He has recently founded DNA 4 Africa, a non-profit, multipurpose organization to help Africa maximize the potential of Forensic DNA. Joining with other non-profits organizations, governments and private sector partners, DNA4Africa will advocate for the broader use of DNA Forensics to protect victims from the genocidal violence, government sponsored rape and other atrocities so prevalent on that continent.
Organisers:
  • inqaba biotec (www.inqababiotec.co.za) is a South African genomics firm that provides essential services and products in the life sciences and molecular diagnostics sector. It also provides DNA analysis and DNA synthesis services and products for the Sub-Saharan region in Africa.
  • Bode Technology (www.bodetech.com) Bode Technology Group, Inc serves the U.S. and international law enforcement and identification markets and is unique in providing both state-ofthe- art human DNA analysis and innovative DNA collection products. The range of Bode’s services include diverse offerings such as high-throughput DNA testing services, case work analysis, missing person identification, CODIS databanking of convicted offenders or arrestees, private databanking, as well as paternity and non-forensic identification.


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