Letters to the editor Nov. 23

Nov. 23, 2013 @ 08:24 AM

Testing turnaround brief

I’m writing in regard to “Former Northern High student sentenced in DWI death” (Nov. 7).

Your article relates an officer’s comment that DWI test results in the case “evidently” were “recently” returned from the State Crime Lab, asserts that the processing time couldn’t “immediately be determined” from the lab, and quotes defense counsel as complaining of “some delay” in test results.  

According to the Crime Laboratory Report, typically introduced into evidence and readily available in the court record to the public, and also routinely provided to defense counsel, the blood sample in this case was submitted to the Lab for analysis on Oct. 21, 2011, and the results were reported on Dec. 2, 2011. 

This testing turnaround time was relatively brief and efficient, and roughly 23 months shy of the two years insinuated by your article. 

The 124 scientists employed by the State Crime Lab work mandatory overtime while facing 35,000-plus annual evidence submissions from more than  600 state law enforcement agencies across North Carolina’s 100 counties.  Rather than oblique intimations of delay, they deserve recognition for their dedicated work in this case and thousands like it.

Joseph R. John Sr.

Director, North Carolina State Crime Laboratory