Illinois State Police defend 5-year DNA testing backlog

Illinois lawmakers asked Illinois State Police officials about how long it takes to run DNA tests on evidence from murder cases and other crime scenes amid scrutiny of the state’s backlog of untested DNA. https://www.ilnews.org/news/justice/illinois-state-police-defend–year-dna-testing-backlog/article_aa20cf56-f7be-11e8-b32e-bb31a62d7521.html

Illinois lawmakers asked Illinois State Police officials about how long it takes to run DNA tests on evidence from murder cases and other crime scenes amid scrutiny of the state’s backlog of untested DNA.

Illinois State Police officials explained to state lawmakers and the families of people killed in crimes that it takes time to run the tests. That’s why commanders said there is a backlog at the Illinois State Police crime lab is so long.

State Police Col. Sean Cormier said the agency has evidence in almost 3,700 on hold at the lab. That includes 752 murder cases.

Cormier was called before a Senate panel Monday to explain why there are so many cases waiting to be tested.

“The scientific steps cannot be circumvented in any way,” Cormier said. “If just takes a little bit of time, a lot more time than we would like, to get this stuff done.”

Cormier said the State Police can run a DNA test in as little as a day or two. But he said that’s only if there’s just one DNA sample on a single piece of evidence. The more that they have to test, the longer it will take.

“Because of the seriousness of the crimes, and the intricacy of the analysis involved, it’s extremely important that we do not take any shortcuts. To make sure we get proper results,” Cormier said.

Lawmakers are worried it’s taking too long, and preventing some cases from being solved.

Cormier said even with additional scientists, it would take the State Police five years to clear the backlog.

https://www.ilnews.org/news/justice/illinois-state-police-defend–year-dna-testing-backlog/article_aa20cf56-f7be-11e8-b32e-bb31a62d7521.html

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