A group of officials from across Mississippi’s criminal justice system has begun work reviewing the state’s evidence preservation practices and may recommend a state law requiring law enforcement agencies or the state crime lab to store evidence.
Most evidence is currently kept by court clerks, and court basements are often crowded, messy and poorly secured. Mississippi Innocence Project Director Tucker Carrington is the chairman of the new task force, and he says the group may recommend a centralized storage facility at the state crime lab.
Mississippi was jarred into action by the release earlier this year of two Noxubee County men wrongly convicted in separate child murder cases. One of the men was on death row.
Mississippi's 82 counties handle DNA evidence in different ways. Some may not collect DNA in every investigation because it is too costly.
The task force will recommend statewide standards for identification, collection and preservation of DNA, as well as training for law enforcement officers and others.
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. (Jackson Clarion-Ledger, 09/03/08)