There is still a backlog of requests for forensic services at crime labs around the country, but it’s much smaller than it was in 2009, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. But, as illustrated by the response of a Utah judge — who was frustrated over a lack of DNA results from the state crime lab — the issue of forensic delay is serious. The Utah judge said if the results aren’t complete by next month, he’ll put a crime lab employee behind bars. (It is not clear that the jail has facilities to allow the forensic scientists to continue their DNA work.)
Christopher Lee Monson has been in jail for the past 13 months, after prosecutors in Davis County charged him with rape and attempted kidnapping in connection with an alleged assault of his ex-girlfriend last October.
A seven-day trial had been scheduled for next month, but Monson’s attorney, Mary Corporon, told 2nd District Judge Thomas Kay in a mid-November hearing that attorneys still have not received the DNA results of a rape kit that was completed last year.
She told Kay that she doesn’t know if the evidence will help or hurt Monson’s defense — but said she can’t go forward with the trial without the results, according to a recording of the court hearing.