JB’s gonna take some of the blame, right?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve by now heard of the roughly 12,000 DNA samples that are missing from the state crime lab’s DNA database. Obviously this is a huge problem, and in the case of accused serial killer Walter Ellis, Ellis’ missing DNA could have kept Ellis from killing his final victim in 2007. There’s been a lot of blame cast over who’s responsible for the missing DNA samples, and much of the blame has fallen on the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. While there’s no doubt some blame should fall on the Department of Corrections, I can’t help but wonder if some blame should fall squarely on the state crime lab, and by extension, Attorney General JB Van Hollen.

After all, the state crime lab falls under the purview of Van Hollen in his role as Attorney General, and he even made improving the performance of the state crime lab an integral part of his campaign for Attorney General in 2006:

“Improving the performance of the Crime Labs was the #1 thing the Attorney General could do to help fight crime in Wisconsin.”

Gary Hamblin of the Department of Justice has said the issue does not reside in the crime lab, but rather is a problem stemming from collection of DNA samples, but no matter where the problem stems, why wasn’t more done to track whether the crime lab had all the DNA samples they were supposed to for the DNA database? Why wasn’t a system of appropriate checks in place to ensure the DNA database was not missing DNA samples for felons, and why didn’t JB Van Hollen take the initiative when he was elected to ensure Wisconsin’s DNA database was accurate?

There’s plenty of blame to go around regarding the 12,000 DNA samples missing from Wisconsin’s DNA database, and while Department of Corrections officials may deserve some of that blame, JB Van Hollen should share in the blame.


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12 thoughts on “JB’s gonna take some of the blame, right?

  1. What I think is funny/sad/depressing/disturbing is that those of us on the front lines…the ones who hear that line again and again about DNA surcharges and the like, erroneously assumed that this was all being done. It really shakes your confidence in a system that we are all a part of…and reminds us that in the end, the system is made up of people and is therefore just as prone to mistake.

  2. I blame JB. Is he not in charge? The moment he starts blaming his subordinates is the moment I lose respect for him. He’s either “boss”… or he ain’t.

    1. Exactly. Putting aside partisanship, some sort of safeguards should have been put in place to ensure the integrity of our DNA database.

  3. I don’t like anything about JB Van Hollen…but I came across something in his bio that makes me dislike him even more. In his bio it states he “…served as Grand Master of Wisconsin’s Grand Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons…” Honestly…what the hell is that…a cult??

    Anyways…JB Van Hollen needs to be held accountable for this DNA collection fiasco. I would like to know what the hell he is doing all day that he doesn’t even know what is going on around him. I think he’s spending too much time trying to appease the Tavern League and the gun lovers…and fantasizing about being Governor…(it seems like there is a lot of that going around). It’s time for him to go.

    1. Freemasonry isn’t a cult, but that’s kind of off-topic for this post.

      Ultimately, you are right that Van Hollen needs to take some blame for the DNA fiasco. If he’d been more diligent about ensuring that someone in the DOJ was cross-checking the database to ensure accuracy, this problem would have been caught long before now.

  4. Have to agree, he is the boss, and the problem was discovered under his watch. Strange it was missed by the previous AG’s, Peg lots-of-lager and, oh yeah, Jim Doyle. — Might be just as important to watch how he handles the problem before putting him out to pasture

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