Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » “I want justice for my child. I want justice for my grandchildren”
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
“I want justice for my child. I want justice for my grandchildren”

Tuesday, Dec 4, 2018

* NPR Illinois

Hundreds of Chicago murder cases from as far back as 2014 have DNA evidence from the crime scene: it just hasn’t been processed yet by Illinois’ Forensic Science Lab. State senators met in Chicago on Monday to find out why.

An investigative report from a Chicago TV station revealed about 750 DNA samples had been sent to the state crime lab, but were never touched. That’s led to delays in solving murder cases from as far back as 2014.

Carmia Tang of Chicago is with The Sisterhood, a gun violence advocacy group. She told the Senate Public Health committee about her son Jeremy, who was murdered in September 2017. More than a year later, the DNA in his case is still sitting in a crime lab.

“Just to know that my child wasn’t even worth processing his DNA is an insult to me as a taxpayer,” she fumed.

Representatives from the Illinois State Police, which runs the crime lab, say staff shortages and changes in how DNA samples from sexual assault cases are processed is to blame. They say Illinois’ nearly three year budget impasse also played a small role; a few private vendors that help process DNA samples no longer do business with the state. Still, gun violence advocacy groups have called that answer “unacceptable.”

* There are no quotation marks on this next passage, but if this summary is accurate, it’s the absolute height of bureaucratic blame-shifting

Lt. Colonel Sean Cormiere, with the Division of Forensic Sciences, said the problem started in 2010, when a new law was passed that requires quicker processing of DNA for sexual assault cases.

So, the problem isn’t the backlog, the problem is the law requiring quicker processing. Right. Stick with that.

Sheesh.

* Fox 32

Crime lab officials said it could take up to five years to reduce the current backlog of over 13,000 cases. […]

State police told Senator Patricia Van Pelt that the latest crime lab numbers statewide show an overall backlog of 13,390. Those are cases which have been at the lab for over 30 days. Three-thousand-six-hundred and ninety-one of those are waiting for DNA analysis. The others include drugs or weapons analysis.

Last Fall, when FOX 32’s Mike Flannery raised questions about the backlog, state police downplayed the problem. On Monday, they admitted that budget and hiring issues have helped create the backlog.

“We did have a period of time with the budget impasse that made it a little more challenging to get things done. Vendors did shut off. We found ways around it. We had to work very closely with vendors. Did we have any vendors that did shut us off? Yes,” said Col. Sean Cormier.

* Well at least he’s finally on record

After answering questions from the committee for more than an hour, Cormier said he wanted to make it clear that the State Police was not trying to pass the buck.

“This is not an effort to make an excuse for where we are right now,” he said. “We are absolutely not happy with the backlog and turnaround time.”

This problem is not new. It goes back many years. It’s part of the hollowing out of Illinois government and, like every other fiscal problem, was exacerbated by the impasse.

* ABC 7

Last month, Carmia Tang said her son Jeremy’s case has still not been processed. He was murdered in September 2017 and she said that the “The DNA may give justice.”

On Monday, she echoed those concerns to state leaders.

“It started about Jeremey and I wanted to fight for Jeremy but it’s so much bigger than that now. It’s about everybody,” Tang testified.

Reginice McBride lost her son, 36-year-old Ronald James, last year. The father of five was shot in the head during a robbery near the United Center while he was in his car.

“They told me they have the DNA from a mask a young man wore,” McBride said through tears. “I want justice for my child. I want justice for my grandchildren.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:38 am:

    The executive branch is in desperate need of strong leadership, someone who will actually do the job they were elected to do, rather than flit around grinding their personal grievances.

    Let’s hope we got someone next month who is committed to the gig.


  2. - anon2 - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    This is one of many untoward results of the belief that “Illinois has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.”


  3. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:41 am:

    ===So, the problem isn’t the backlog, the problem is the law requiring quicker processing. Right. Stick with that.===

    Well, to be fair Rich, he’s only a Lt. Colonel. Where was the big guy? Not available for questions?


  4. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    This is absolutely unacceptable. Fund a program to eliminate the backlog and then staff for a maximum two week turnaround. Will have to outsource work to reduce backlog.


  5. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:47 am:

    Pritzker’s Criminal Justice Reform Team needs to take this one as one of their top priorities. If there is a lack of skilled people for the lab field, then maybe the Education Team and the Business Team could work together with Criminal Justice Reform to create the educational, job, and business pathways to alleviating this backlog. Rauner’s “squeezin’ the beast” method sure didn’t help. And for someone who wanted reform, Rauner did not have the skills to implement a holistic approach to this issue.

    Some backgrounders:

    http://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/dna-database-search-by-state.aspx

    http://www.ncsl.org/portals/1/documents/cj/dna/illinois.pdf

    https://www.fbi.gov/services/laboratory/biometric-analysis/codis/codis-and-ndis-fact-sheet


  6. - Downstate - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:48 am:

    79% - That’s the number of homicide cases in Chicago for which no one is ever charged.

    Think about that.

    Chicago murderers have an 79% chance of getting away with their crime. Those are really good odds.

    Homicide deaths in Chicago are treated like African American deaths in South of the 1950’s.

    What a tragedy.


  7. - Perrid - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:52 am:

    “So, the problem isn’t the backlog, the problem is the law requiring quicker processing. Right. Stick with that.”

    If you put more work on their plate without more resources, something has to give. That’s just logic. By moving rape kits up the priority list, something else has to be moved down.


  8. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 11:07 am:

    ==Will have to outsource work to reduce backlog.==

    ISP should not have to outsource this important work, but if they absolutely have to outsource the question becomes: which company is going to accept a contract to do it? Lots of businesses refuse to do business with the state since they cant know how long it’ll be until they’ll get paid for their work.

    Seems a weak argument for not getting this done, I know, but it’s entirely plausible that only a few companies do this kind of testing.


  9. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 11:07 am:

    ===By moving rape kits up the priority list, something else has to be moved down. ===

    Apparently, you did not read the story.


  10. - West Sider - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 11:19 am:

    The violence in Chicago and other urban areas may be wrong, but it is not completely irrational. No justice- no peace.


  11. - A Jack - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 11:20 am:

    I am not sure they can easily outsource this since it is evidence. If the evidence is mishandled by an outsource, you have lost the case. I know a person at State Police who does this work and the processing is very detailed as it should be in a potential criminal case.


  12. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 11:30 am:

    ==Representatives from the Illinois State Police, which runs the crime lab, say staff shortages and changes in how DNA samples from sexual assault cases are processed is to blame.==

    A new way to victim blame. Incredible.


  13. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    A Jack. You are right. Outsourcing is difficult and must be done with care. There is no overnight or 6 month solution. But aggressive management can get the process moving.


  14. - SSL - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    Why don’t we get a NCIS team? Whenever I see one of those TV shows they get their DNA tests back within a few minutes. Problem solved.


  15. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 12:40 pm:

    –I am not sure they can easily outsource this since it is evidence–

    Very good point.

    Any outside vendor would have to be able to guarantee they’d scrupulously document chain of evidence and show up in court to prove it under oath.

    Still, there’s a new governor coming. Part of the gig is setting priorities and demanding results.

    Get on this out of the gate, Pritzker. Moving the ball on issues like this are what you signed up for.


  16. - Winderweezle - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 1:17 pm:

    The Lt. Colonel cannot be blamed for this. His only two real tasks are to “look good in uniform” and forward emails while not rocking the boat in any way.

    This is a revolving door position that is filled by whoever has “strong administrative skills” but nearly no operational experience. It is little wonder that no one has solved any problems from that chair.


  17. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 5:03 pm:

    The state crime lab shouldn’t wait for legislature to increase appropriations if they are underfunded. It’s clear that this needs a higher priority. There is a lot of grant money and foundation money available if you know where to look.


  18. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 5:51 pm:

    –The state crime lab shouldn’t wait for legislature to increase appropriations if they are underfunded. It’s clear that this needs a higher priority. There is a lot of grant money and foundation money available if you know where to look.–

    That’s absurd. The state isn’t going to rattle a cup on the corner to process crime scene evidence. It’s a core responsibility.

    And it’s well within the power of the governor to order and set priorities within the agencies under his control.


  19. - MyTwoCents - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 7:35 pm:

    2 thoughts:
    1) why is the ISP lab processing DNA for Chicago? As one of the largest cities in the country shouldn’t CPD have its own lab?
    2) maybe the General Assembly should pass the resolution asking for an audit of DNA processing http://www.wspynews.com/news/local/local-representatives-backing-house-joint-resolution-for-illinois-state-police/article_5b2d95d8-ea75-11e8-bc17-9fe61eceaee3.html


  20. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 5, 18 @ 10:28 am:

    What about police agencies that deliberately don’t collect evidence in the first place, but leave it at the crime scene and then alter the reports? Look at Whiteside county deputies Jeffrey Wunderlich and Jed Renkes failing to collect evidence with the collusion of state’s attorney Terry Costello. Maybe some evidence was discarded or altered at the death scene of motorcyclist Bill Damhoff, who was killed by Wunderlich?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Former Marion Mayor Bob Butler dies at 92
* Today's quotable
* Question of the day
* It's just a bill
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Sanguinetti kicks off campaign
* Separatism can spiral out of control
* This barely noticed gaming bill could be a whole lot bigger than advertised
* Think Big ad gets it wrong
* Woodward out, Odom in, McSweeney hit
* A hard, consequential slog is coming
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller