The impact of a 2009 federal Supreme Court ruling on a Boston drug case is still being felt statewide. A new requirement that state chemists appear in court is putting a strain on already burdened state drug labs.
Since the ruling requiring testimony by chemists about any scientific evidence, state labs say there are longer and longer delays in processing crime evidence.
For the state's Department of Public Health, backlogs have become so great that the agency has had to shift some of its testing to state police crime labs.
Since prosecutors recently began calling chemists to court, state police crime labs director Guy Vallaro said his labs received more than 1,000 subpoenas.
"Anytime a person is not on the bench performing analyses, it contributes to the backlogs," Vallaro said. "It's a negative impact to the operations."
Some state prosecutors are asking for more crime lab funding.
This program aired on May 2, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.