06292017CM0261RSSPRINGFIELD— State Senator Tom Cullerton passed a measure to help eliminate the backlog of evidence sitting unchecked at state forensic labs.

Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed 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.

“Forensic evidence can make all the difference in the outcome of a case,” Cullerton said. “This highly scientific process continues to become increasingly important in solving crimes. It is vital that the state speed up the process to ensure that justice is delivered swiftly and effectively.”

The measure directs the Illinois State Police and its divisions to examine crime labs’ equipment, procedures, and staffing levels with the goal of identifying and reporting to the General Assembly on factors preventing them from compliance with federal rules on swiftly processing evidence.

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.

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.

“One of the most important players in any type of testimony often isn't a person but the forensic data,” Cullerton said. “Our hope is this report will provide the General Assembly with the knowledge to help give the Illinois State Police the necessary tools to drastically improve turnaround and ensure they are in compliance with federal protocols.”

This bipartisan initiative is sponsored by State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) in the House. House Joint Resolution 7 passed the Senate with animous support.

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District Office
338 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, IL 60181
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