So apparently another law enforcement agency is about to open it’s own crime lab — so much for people listening to the NAS report, and it’s recommendation for getting crime labs out of the hands of law enforcement and prosecutors to reduce institutional bias.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is scheduled to open its own $1 million DNA and drug lab by the end of the year, according to Sheriff P.J. Tanner.
The lab to be put on county-owned land near S.C. 170 in Burton, will be able to process DNA evidence in less than 30 days, Tanner said. Sheriff’s Office investigators now must rely on the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to process DNA evidence, but the average waiting time for a return is about a year because SLED is “overwhelmed and understaffed,” he said.
There are much better ideas, and more financially responsible ideas for the tax payers of Beaufort County, and that is to send samples out to private labs on high profile or “rush” cases. This would prevent the tax payers of Beaufort County from having to foot the ongoing costs of crime lab overhead, until SLED can grow and expand to meet current needs — once the economy turns around. And I’m not the only person to think so. A user comment on the article:
adinehart wrote on 10/19/2009 01:05:56 PM:
There are an abundance of certified labs in the private sector. Beaufort spending taxpayer money on its own lab is foolish. New county employees will be needed and the cost of the employees and their benefit packages will be paid for by taxpayers long after they are retired. Outsourcing to accredited laboratories is a much more cost-effective alternative and defense attorneys will not be able to question the accreditation of the lab.
Read the entire Island Packet article.
- Follow-up on Beaufort County DNA Lab
- Fake DNA — Planted Evidence!
- Science Found Wanting in Nation’s Crime Labs
- Austin police turning to DNA to solve thefts
- Further Fallout from the Houston Crime Lab Scandal
- Prosecutors Move To Seize Control of Crime Lab
- State hits crime lab on DNA cache
- National Rape Kit News Stories
- Eyewitness Testimony Greatest Factor in Wrongful Convictions
- Innocent Man in Jail for 25 Years? And 8 Years Too Long