The two GOP candidates for Attorney General have criticized the current AG for allowing the DNA backlogs to spike. Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager wants more money — about $1.9-million — to help deal with the growing backlog of DNA testing. Republican candidate for Attorney General, J.B. Van Hollen, says he could get more money by creating efficiencies in the Department of Justice. “I've also talked about running it like a business, meaning if this is a number one priority, let's fund it first. Let's not sue cranberry growers. Let's not higher a solicitor general to look into public nuisance lawsuits and spend money on that when we've got a backlog in the crime lab that is killing people. We've got to make sure that when we say something is a priority we mean it.”
The former US Attorney says just a 10% increase in efficiencies would allow them to get rid of the crime lab back log and a whole lot of other things. The other GOP candidate for state Attorney General, Paul Bucher, says he has a proposal to try to significantly reduce the backlog, although they'll never eliminate it. “Our radio commercial highlighted the real life consequences. It's not just mumble jumble legal junk that we talk about in the profession. There's real life consequences to real people and real families. And unless we're real serious about it, we're going to accept status quo and I'm not willing to do that.”
The Waukesha County District Attorney cites an example of how it took the crime lab over one year to analyze the DNA of a convicted sex offender who is now charged with 43 counts of child porn.
Regarding Lautenschlager's new plan, Bucher says, “It?s about time Peg realized we have a serious problem … but this is an attempt to salvage her foundering administration.” Van Hollen says, “Her eleventh hour plan raises more questions than it answers.”