Pa. State Sen. larry Farnese is calling for reform in the way criminal DNA is handled. The 1st District Senator wants hearings, increased funding for State Police DNA testing and DNA testing when inmates enter prison, rather than upon release.
Farnese’s comments come after it was revealed the Kensington Strangler could have been captured weeks before his last killing had the state police’s DNA system not been backlogged by eight weeks.
“The public has been vulnerable all these months while the suspect has been at large. According to published reports, his DNA has been awaiting entry into the database since October because of this backlog,” Farnese said in a statement today.
WHYY’s Carolyn Beeler is working on a story to see how the commonwealth’s DNA backlog compares with other states’ systems.
Strangler suspect Antonio Rodriguez has his DNA swabbed in the summer when he was released from prison. A match to the strangling cases was found yesterday.