ProPublica Plans To Track DNA Testing Backlog


Six years after the Bush administration said it would spend $1 billion to clear up the DNA testing backlog, at least 350,000 samples from murder and rape cases — many of them involving sexually abused children — remain untested in crime labs nationwide, reports ProPublica. The news website, which has reported frequently about the backlog, says it will issue monthly updates on the DNA backlog at five labs: the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department, California Department of Justice, Virginia Department of Forensic Science and Illinois State Police.

ProPublica said they represent a mixture of state, local and federal labs. Some have unusually large backlogs or are located in states that recently expanded their DNA collection. ProPublica says the increasing backlog can be traced in part to new federal and state laws that require DNA samples from people convicted of — or simply arrested for — nonviolent crimes, including shoplifting.

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