Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
The processing of DNA recovered from felony crime scenes often causes delays in trials of up to 3 years, calling into question defendants' rights to a speedy trial. Using Lewin's force field analysis as the theoretical framework, the purpose of this quantitative, comparative study was to compare the processing and reporting of results related to DNA testing in 4 states. Survey data were collected from state bar members (n=137), members of a professional law organization (n=149), and members of a state DNA laboratory (n=20). The purpose of this quantitative, comparative study was to determine whether these variables (interagency communications, staff retention, budget, legislative support, and changes in procedures and protocols) have an impact on outcome variables. Results indicated a major delaying factor was the delivery of evidence to process from law enforcement, as well as communication issues between agencies. The positive social change implications stemming from this study include recommendations to state decision makers. Recommendations include either administratively or legislatively engaging in efficiency improvements related to ensuring the timely delivery of DNA evidence. Timely delivery would allow for more speedily engagement in trials when appropriate.