CHICAGO
06/19/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

How The Illinois Crime Lab And Blagojevich Got The State's Massive DNA Backlog Wrong

When the U.S. government hired Michael Sheppo to help eliminate a crushing backlog in untested DNA evidence, he had all the right credentials.

As one of the country's top forensic scientists, Sheppo served on the board of the nation's leading center for researching and teaching DNA testing. And during Sheppo's tenure as chief of the Illinois State Police crime lab, scientists there wiped out a backlog of 1,000 cases in little more than a year, according to lab reports.

But those reports were wrong. Far from being eliminated, the backlog still existed then and remains today. Now, almost three years after Sheppo took the helm of the National Institute of Justice's forensic science division, his old lab is under fire.

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