OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The State Crime Lab has taken a lot of heat lately for its handling of DUI evidence. But now, thanks to grant money and a private lab in Dallas, the state lab is solving more serious crimes than before.
Washington state law requires all those convicted of felonies and some gross misdemeanors to provide a DNA sample to the crime lab. Each crime scene can provide a number of DNA samples. And because of the grant money, the lab has been able to send some samples to the Dallas lab and increase the amount of people in its database. With more people in the database, crimes that weren't being solved before are now because of new DNA matches.
WSP's George Johnston says, "If we can get these felons typed and entered into a database, we're gonna start solving more crimes. There is a direct correlation."
Now, Johnston says a major reason they are getting more arrests if because when a criminal first commits a crime, they get his DNA.
When he or she commits a more serious crime, their sample is already on file. The crime lab estimates that they are making 3 times as many DNA matches this year.