Del. AG Calls for New Crime Lab - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. AG Calls for New Crime Lab

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WILMINGTON, Del.– The recent problems revealed with drug evidence in the State Medical Examiner’s Office show that Delaware needs to build its own, state-of-the-art crime laboratory, Attorney General Beau Biden said Thursday.

Biden said his office launched a criminal investigation, which is still ongoing, into the Medical Examiner’s Office after police and prosecutors uncovered problems with drug evidence that had been sent there for testing. According to Biden, who is the state's top law enforcement official, the recent problems with evidence testing and the resulting delays and costs to the criminal justice system show the need for a new crime laboratory. He said these latest incidents have drawn public attention to challenges that law enforcement officials in the state have long faced.

In calling for an independent, state-of-the-art crime laboratory, Biden said, "For too long, police and prosecutors have had to overcome the challenges posed by the current scenario that forces us to send different evidence to separate laboratories in Delaware, and in many cases, to private laboratories out of state because the Delaware facilities lack either the capability or the capacity. As a result, investigations and prosecutions can be significantly delayed, compromising, at times, the orderly administration of justice.”

Noting that forensic evidence is very important in prosecuting the worst criminal offenders, the attorney general said a new crime lab would help make Delaware’s criminal justice system more effective and efficient. He also believes it would save taxpayers money in the long term.

Biden added that senior prosecutors from his office have already visited the Maryland crime lab, which can serve as a model for what should be built in Delaware. Biden said his office will convene a group of stakeholders from the executive and legislative branches, state and local law enforcement, the scientific community and national experts this summer to begin the planning process for a new facility.

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