News 07.31.07

Massachusetts, Michigan and Louisiana take aim at crime lab problems

An editorial in yesterday’s Patriot Ledger calls on Massachusetts officials to focus on rectifying longstanding problems in the state crime lab in order to ensure fair justice for all. The paper says "this mess will be doubly hard to clean up"

"‘It’s not just about convictions," Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett said, a point the State Police should remember. It’s about determining the truth. That’s going to take time and money, but it must be done.


Read the full editorial here

. (Patriot Ledger, 07/30/07)

Changes in the state’s forensic community were announced last week, when officials named a senior Boston prosecutor to be the new head of both the State Police crime lab and the medical examiner’s office. The former director resigned last month amid controversy over DNA testing.

Read more here

.

Meanwhile, Michigan lawmakers are considering a unique plan to fund crime labs and Louisiana labs have used federal grants to nearly eliminate the backlog in sexual assault cases.

 

  • Pending legislation in Michigan would add a surcharge of $1.35 to all phone bills, raising about $200 million. Some of these funds could go to state forensic labs.

    Read the full article

    . (ABC 12)
  • Louisiana’s crime lab backlog in sexual assault cases has been reduced from 3,100 unprocessed sexual assualt evidence kits in 2003 to 200 kits, according to an article in the

    Baton Rouge Advocate

    .

Read more about the Innocence Project’s call for

crime lab oversight

.

Read our recent blog posts on

crime lab oversight and backlogs

.

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