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As DNA test backlogs soar, U.S. cuts funding

Last summer, the Los Angeles Police Department was dealt a rude shock. Expecting nearly $1 million in federal grant money to help cover the cost of analyzing DNA evidence in rape cases and other violent crimes, the department was awarded only half that much. U.S. Department of Justice officials, who distribute the money to police agencies nationwide, told LAPD staff that the fault was their own. The LAPD had been too slow to spend about half the DNA grant money awarded in prior years, so its 2008 allotment was reduced. Meanwhile, an audit found that more than 7,000 rape kits are waiting to be analyzed, the largest known backlog in the country. As dire as LAPD's problem is, it is...

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