No Easy Fix for State Lab Backlog of DNA Testing
The crime lab for testing DNA samples in Madison, WI, has a backlog of about 1,775 cases, and officials are working to find solutions to reduce the backlog while maintaining the integrity of the lab.
Newly-elected Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who has backed off his campaign promise to quickly eliminate the backlog, says it would take 20 months to clear the backlog if any new evidence wasn’t submitted.
Many states limit the number of DNA samples tested for each case, but this can allow the defense to say that the samples that were not submitted might be exonerating.
Gov. Jim Doyle has committed to adding 15 new analysts to the lab, bring the total to 44, but he says that will not solve the problem and results will never be as fast as they are on TV.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (01/21/07); Forster, Stacy.