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DNA

VILLA PARK – State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) praised the Illinois State Police crime lab’s efforts to reduce the massive backlog of cases awaiting DNA analysis.

This month, ISP posted 26 job postings for forensic scientists to get to work on the massive backlog of cases. Filling these positions will allow the agency to address the backlog.

“Forensic evidence can make or break the outcome of a case,” Cullerton said. “This highly scientific process continues to become increasingly important in solving crimes. The Illinois State Police is working diligently to help solve this crisis and eliminate this catastrophic backlog once and for all, and to do it, they need more experts.”

Cullerton sponsored House Joint Resolution 7, which directs the Illinois State Police to take all steps possible to comply with the Federal Rapid DNA Act of 2017. The measure was adopted by the House and Senate with unanimous support in May.

In today's climate where police and prosecutors are increasingly scrutinized about their procedures, DNA evidence is crucial to the successful prosecution of criminal cases. The current backlog of biological evidence includes numerous cases of violent crimes, including murders, shootings, and criminal sexual assaults, that end up being delayed for long periods of time. It typically takes at least one year for biological evidence to be processed by the state crime labs.

“I’m glad to see ISP taking steps to drastically improve turnaround and ensure they are in compliance with federal protocols,” Cullerton said. “The goal of our legislation was to jump start this process to ensure justice is delivered swiftly.”

The bipartisan initiative is sponsored by State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) in the House.