Is a delay of 25 years from the laying of the information until trial enough to have a case thrown out? The answer seems obvious, but an Ontario judge had a tough job to do in parsing the advancements in DNA testing that resulted in an extraordinarily long investigation of the accused in R. v. Milani.
The fascinating case involves a string of home invasion sexual assaults between April 1985 and December 1987. While DNA testing was in its infancy, police believed they had enough evidence to charge Donald Milani in December 1987. The judge, however, found the evidence lacking and acquitted Milani on one charge and refused to commit him to trial in the three others at the preliminary inquiry stage.
By the 1990s, DNA testing had advanced somewhat through the use of restriction fragment length polymorphism, but that technique required more material than was available.