On Monday, Governor Pritzker appointed 15 people to the Governor’s Task Force on Forensic Science. The task force was created by executive order in August to address Illinois’ growing backlog of untested DNA samples.
The Governor said of the task force, “the experienced leaders serving on this task force will take a systematic and proactive approach to further reducing backlogs and support public safety and first responders.”
In the past 2 years, the backlog of DNA tests in Illinois has doubled and as of June there were roughly 7,000 samples waiting to be tested. According to the Illinois State Police, about 2,700 of those samples involved potential sexual assault.
Sarah Toney is the only private attorney currently appointed to the commission. Other members of the commission include the head public defender of Cook County, the head of the Illinois Innocence Project, the Chief Medical Examiner of Cook County as well as a professor, a Circuit Clerk, a prosecutor and a judge.
The task force is set to make a report to the Governor in 2020 and Brendan Kelly, Director of Illinois State Police who will Chair the task force, has said the Governor wants Illinois’ crime lab system to be the premier laboratory system in the country.
To see the full press release, click here.