Judges chip away at NC crime lab backlog

helix10Prosecutors across the state have complained for years about a backlog of evidence testing that delays trials. Sometimes delays are so long that charges have been dismissed in cases ranging from routine drunken driving to more serious offenses, including rape and murder.
So far proposals to speed up tests have focused on hiring more analysts at the State Crime Laboratory and working around a court ruling that requires lab analysts to testify in person. But even if those methods were put in place, experts say, they wouldn’t solve the problem.
Now some judges and other court officials have embarked on a far more achievable strategy of making administrative changes to the way these cases are handled on the bet that cumulatively they will help speed up test results.

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