Felony case backlog doubles due to virus in Seattle area

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SEATTLE (AP) – Seattle area prosecutors said the backlog in pending crime cases has doubled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There were 6,450 criminal offenses pending trial as of Wednesday, according to the King County Prosecutor’s Office. The office said they typically have an average backlog of 3,250 cases.

The number of cases of serious crime – including murder, rape and domestic violence – lagged has increased from 1,700 before the pandemic to 2,800.

The extensive backlog coincided with a 61% increase in Seattle murders in 2020 compared to the previous year, KOMO-TV reported.

“We set a record for the number of murders in King County,” King County Attorney Dan Satterberg told the county council last week. “It’s been a very violent year and our team has focused on these violent cases.”