Massachusette Senate leaders want to improve the State Police Crime Lab to reduce backlogs in DNA analysis and avoid the higher prices charged by labs in other states, the Boston Globe reports.
Prosecutors often are forced to test evidence at out-of-state firms — which typically costs twice as much as tests at the state’s lab — because the state facility can handle only 20 percent of the criminal cases that require DNA analysis. Expanding the state lab would help speed trials, cut prosecutors’ costs, and provide key evidence to convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent, Senate President Robert Travaglini said. “Reforms in this area are desperately needed and long overdue.”
The crime lab change are part of a package that Senate leaders are backing to help address a $3 billion budget gap in the next fiscal year. The package would add $1.8 million for the lab and save money in reduced court backlogs and fewer charges from out-of-state DNA testing facilities.