DNA: The Not-So-Magic Bullet

(AP / CBS)
Bob Orr is a correspondent for CBS News based in Washington.
If you're like millions of Americans hooked on prime time crime dramas like CSI and Criminal Minds then you know that DNA is a cop's best friend and a crook's quickest ticket to the slammer.

Except that it isn't. The DNA science is solid; the problem is labs across America can't keep up with the forensic demand. The FBI's own lab in Quantico, Virginia has a two year backlog of samples from convicted offenders just parked on shelves and waiting to be processed.

While that's frustrating to the crime solvers, the DNA backlog takes a real human toll. There are new crimes happening every day because serial offenders, who've left DNA samples at multiple crime scenes, have yet to be caught. And there are victims, like Debbie Smith, who suffered six years of nightmares, because her attacker eluded the DNA system.

Click here to learn Debbie Smith's story and see inside the lab where DNA still isn't the crime-fighting weapon it should be.