LANSING, MI –
Ongoing staff shortages in state police crime labs are creating more and longer delays in mid-Michigan courts. Ingham county prosecutor Stuart Dunnings says the situation amounts to a breach of justice for victims and defendants alike. He says the average wait for DNA evidence in Ingham County now exceeds 135 days.
"The state police crime lab--they do work at the highest standard," he says. "But the fact of the matter is they are woefully underfunded. And, you know, the people have to decide where, in the list of priorities, are they going to put the solving of crimes?"
Dunnings expects the situation to worsen in light of the state's budget crisis. Yesterday, Wayne County Prosecutor Kim Worthy told a state House panel the forensic backlog is "grinding the justice system in Michigan to a halt."