Backlogs in Washington Crime Labs - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Backlogs in Washington Crime Labs

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KENNEWICK, Wash. --  Crime labs across the state are facing huge backlogs of evidence waiting to be analyzed.

The backlog has reached almost a thousand cases for DNA evidence. There are seven Washington State Patrol Crime Labs but one DNA sample takes up to 50 hours to analyze.

Deputy Benton County Prosecutor Scott Johnson says the delayed evidence seriously effects court cases, "Everyday that passes memories get worse, so having to wait 6, 7, 8, 9 months for crime lab results. That means that a witnesses memory is really suffering by the time of the trial."

Johnson does say that the crime labs do prioritize by analyzing serious crimes like murder first and that evidence in those cases comes back much faster, many times in a few weeks.

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