science in hd FaNUdWGJqBg unsplashSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) that would create a Forensic Science Commission passed the Senate Thursday.

“This very measure is why we have hearings, to guide the legislation that impacts culture,” Van Pelt said. “There are still people awaiting answers as the DNA backlog decreases, and a commission is needed to improve coordination between police and forensic scientists to help further the decrease in the backlog.”

Senate Bill 920, creates the Illinois Forensic Science Commission to provide guidance to ensure efficient delivery of forensic services and the sound practice of forensic science.

In a hearing last December, Illinois State Police testified that the backlog — or Biology DNA pending assignments — has decreased 48% since 2019, which is due to a multi-pronged strategy that included increased accountability, scientific advancements – such as Rapid DNA and Lean Six Sigma – additional hired and trained forensic scientists, and most importantly – the full implementation of TECAN robotics.

TECAN is liquid handling robot that has the capacity to process upwards of 80 forensic samples at one time with minimal analyst interaction.

“We have to remember that these are not just numbers in the backlog, but lives that have been assaulted and/or taken,” Van Pelt said. “This is an attempt to give grieving families some sense of resolution and justice for what happened to their loved ones.”

ISP’s developments on the backlog can be tracked here. If implemented, Illinois will join 10 other states who have a Forensic Science Commission.

Senate Bill 920 now goes to the House for approval.

Category: News

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