When it comes to sex crimes, violent crimes, and gun crimes, Utah has some of the harshest penalties in the country. However, the state has lagged far behind when it comes to sophisticated forensic technology in solving some of the most complicated criminal cases. The good news is Utah has finally entered the 21st Century with the recent opening of the brand new Unified Crime Laboratory earlier this month in Taylorsville. It is considered one of the most state-of-the-art crime labs in the nation.
A Sign of Progress
The lack of modern technology can be very costly for both victims of crime and those accused of criminal activity. While the use of DNA evidence has changed and significantly improved law enforcement, it has not always been perfect. Due to antiquated techniques, it can be easy for DNA evidence to be mishandled, leading to a failure of criminal courts to determine true justice. Officials at the new Unified Crime Laboratory hopes to eliminate many of the problems that have plagued so many criminal cases of the past. The lab includes the following equipment:
- Ballistics Unit
- Vehicle processing garages
- Chemistry labs
- X-ray equipment that can scan the entire body in 20 seconds
- Robotic technology
The Impact of Robotic Technology
One of the biggest innovations is the use of robotic technology in the processing of evidence. Robots are currently processing DNA samples and delivering them to forensic technicians. The use of robots brings two major improvements. They allow technicians to focus on fewer tasks, such as analysis, instead of having to constantly repeat them over and over. Robots also reduce the amount of human errors. They are capable processing 96 DNA samples in less than 8 hours. Prior to robots, it would usually take crime technicians three to four days to perform the same amount of work.
The Impact on Sex Crimes and Violent Crimes
The backlog of rape kits throughout Utah has been well documented. In 2015, there was a backlog of 2,700 kits, resulting in significant delays involving numerous sex and violent crimes. Despite the improvements in efficiency, The Unified Crime Laboratory is not enough to solve the problem. According to current projections, the lab would not be able to clear the backlog until sometime next year. But it is a major step forward in the right direction. Due to the backlog, hundreds of violent sex crime cases go unsolved, leaving victims and the accused with their lives in limbo.
Are You Accused of a Sex Crime or Violent Crime? The Salt Lake City of Law Offices of White & Matern, PLLC Can Help
Far too many people accused of sex crime and violent crimes face false charges. It is vital to seek representation from a criminal defense attorney that can protect the rights and best interests of each client. The Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys at White & Matern utilize and aggressive and comprehensive approach to help place clients in the best position to succeed. To learn more, contact their law office today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case today.