South Carolina’s DNA backlog persists despite efforts

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina has more than 8,000 criminal cases waiting for DNA evidence processing.

The State reports that the exact number fluctuates, and nearly 10 new cases are submitted each day.

DNA analyst Jennifer Clayton says the constantly growing backlog is frustrating because it leaves victims waiting and could mean unidentified suspects are still committing crimes.

State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel is hoping a $45 million lab opening in 2021 will improve efficiency.

Some law enforcement agencies in Richland, Greenville, York and Beaufort counties are relying on their own labs and helping neighboring jurisdictions when possible.

But some sheriffs say more state funding is needed to handle the statewide backlog.

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