Thursday, August 02, 2007

DNA Results in Less Than Two Weeks: Your Crime Lab At Work

"Arkansas Man Charged in Branson Homicide" reads the headline in this mornings SNL.

This homicide has been reported on before, both in the SNL and here..

But what really caught my eye in this mornings SNL story was a quote from Branson Police Detective Sergeant Sean Barnwell: "The murder weapon has been recovered from Huey's property. The blood found on the knife has been verified as Lynn's blood through DNA testing by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab."

Some guy gets murdered in Branson on July 19, 2007. Through good police work a suspect is arrested on July 22. 2007. The murder weapon, a hunting knife with blood on it, was recovered from the suspect's property (remember he was arrested July 22, 2007). The evidence was sent to the state crime lab for DNA testing. On August 1, 2007 the State Crime Lab DNA testing has been completed and the results returned to the Branson Police Department and the suspect is charged. Total time from crime to charges (including sending evidence to the State Crime Lab and receiving the DNA test results back in Branson): 2 weeks or 14 days.

Remember this:
Blunt and Missouri Highway Patrol officials said the $5.9 million lab, due to open in October 2008, would benefit the entire state by reducing the time it takes to analyze evidence for investigations and trials. The wait can now be as long as 10 months from the state's one full-service crime lab in Jefferson City.

And this:
Arnott says evidence has to compete for lab time with cases from around the state, including Kansas City and St. Louis. Right now the average time to get back a DNA test is one year.

And this:
Rowe said there have been cases in which authorities have waited for more than a year for DNA evidence to be processed and returned. He did not know how much having a lab in Springfield would quicken the process, but he said even if it is just a few months, it will make a difference.

And this: “The crime lab in Jefferson City is working overtime, and the backlog of cases demands more resources so that justice is not delayed,” said Rep. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield.

Tony, you were right: The crime lab that voters turned down, the same crime lab that legislators didn't fund, is really going to be built. Blunt stood under a shaded awning in front of the somewhat dilapidated yellow-brick warehouse on Tampa Street and repeated the phrase of the day — "justice delayed is justice denied" — in announcing that this new lab would improve law enforcement efforts statewide.

"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." Albert Einstein

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