|DNA Testing Bill Prompted By WRAL-TV Reporter
Hundreds of DNA evidence boxes sit on the shelves of NC police departments.
A recent story by WRAL-TV Reporter Cullen Browder has prompted the introduction of a bill in the North Carolina General Assembly. Rep. David Miner filed legislation to have all DNA evidence tested. Currently, hundreds of DNA samples sit on the shelves of NC police departments, leaving cases unsolved and justice eluded.
Browder learned of the situation when doing a tour of an SBI crime lab for another story. He learned that rape kits and other DNA evidence in cases where a specific suspect had not been named are not tested, due to a lack of resources and staff.
So Browder went to Richmond, Virginia, to compare the procedures and protocol for DNA testing. He found that although a less populated state, Virginia has more DNA analysts and considers that analysis a higher priority.
After breaking the story, Browder and his team approached NC legislators about the disparity. Miner jumped on board to introduce the legislation and NC House Minority Leader Leo Daughtry mentioned the need for hearings on the subject.
“It’s satisfying,” Browder said. “It’s one of those things that had just slipped through the cracks. We have these great crime fighting tools, and we don’t use it. That’s a crime.” Beacause of the current budget shortfall in the state, Browder says improvement in DNA analysis will not happen over night but stresses that the process is beginning, along with education and awareness.