State and local officials plan to build a major crime and medical lab near downtown Cleveland, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Analysts would pore over DNA and crime scene evidence while Cleveland Clinic technicians examine tissue samples to help diagnose and treat diseases. The joint project involving the Cuyahoga County prosecutor and Ohio attorney general, the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland State University and others could bring more than 1,000 jobs to the city after it opens in 2011. County Prosecutor Bill Mason has wanted a bigger, better crime lab since 1999, when he led the state’s successful defense against a lawsuit by the family of the late Dr. Sam Sheppard. The family wanted to clear Sheppard’s name from a 1954 murder case that’s still hotly debated.
“As we present evidence to juries here in Cuyahoga County, they have been watching ‘CSI’ on TV and so they are demanding that my prosecutors in the courtrooms have scientific evidence – of which we have none to present, generally,” Mason said. Ohio Attorney General Michael Dann recently asked members of Congress to try to secure $2.75 million for the crime lab’s planning and design.