Category Archives: Backlogs

Backlog on rape kits

justice and DNA2As evidence languishes, victims are ignored

Cold cases could stay ‘on ice’ if lawmakers don’t fund unit

Justice and DNA1HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – It took 25 years for Edith Skinner’s killer to be arrested. Her son, Steve Skinner credits the state’s DNA squad with pinpointing Gerald Austin as the one who raped and murdered the 81-year old.
Investigators with the DNA squad found Austin and took a sample from him. That sample was then put into a database which linked him to the case. Her son says justice, after 25 years, was overwhelming.

NC crime lab director says funding needed to clear DNA testing backlog

Red HelisRaleigh, N.C. — The director of the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory, which examines evidence in criminal investigations for law enforcement agencies across the state, says he hopes lawmakers will increase funding for the lab this year to help clear the backlog of cases in need of DNA testing.

California attorney general honored for rape kit processing

AG HarrisSACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The state attorney general’s office is receiving national recognition for accelerating the testing of rape kits, using innovations that have been adopted by eight of California’s 58 counties.

Push to Expedite Rape Kit Testing

DNA Strands2SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sexual assault advocates are demanding changes in the handling of crucial evidence from rape cases in California.
It’s estimated tens of thousands of rape kits are sitting on evidence shelves waiting to be processed.

Attorney General DeWine Announces More than 3,000 Sexual Assault Kits Tested by BCI

sexual assault kitsOhio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that forensic scientists with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) have now tested more than 3,000 previously untested rape kits as part of the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative.

Not all rape kits are processed for DNA in Hawaii

cold case evidenceHawaiiNewsNow) – A Sexual Assault Evidence Collection kit is a rectangular cardboard box containing envelopes and swabs for gathering DNA evidence. The Sex Abuse Treatment Center distributes the kits to hospitals, physicians and police departments in all four counties. The center is also involved in a drive for accountability.

Backlogged Forensic Lab Sends Back Evidence Untested

DNA techHundreds of pieces of unprocessed DNA evidence were returned to the Hartford Police Department from the Connecticut State Forensic Laboratory, a Fox Connecticut Freedom of Information request revealed. In some instances, the cases were violent crimes where no arrest had been made.

NBC ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ actress Mariska Hargitay teaming up with Kym Worthy to address Michigan’s rape kit problem

Bailey and HargitayThe actress, now 50, founded the Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization that is teaming up with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to combat the state’s — and especially Detroit’s — concerning backlog of untested rape kits, some that sat in a Detroit warehouse for decades until being discovered and addressed by state police and Worthy’s office in 2009.

The Backlog of 400,000 Unprocessed Rape Kits Is A Disgrace

Sexual assualt backlogIt’s one of the most shameful numbers in American law enforcement: According to the Department of Justice, some 400,000 “rape kits” are languishing in evidence lockers across the country because local authorities can’t afford to process them. The kits, some of them dating back to the 1980s, contain DNA evidence that could convict rapists.

State’s Crime Lab Humming After Years Of Disarray

unique strand…With the help of a 25 percent boost in staff and management changes that freed scientists to concentrate on science, the backlog of DNA cases dropped from 6,094 in January 2013 to 2,146 last month. The logjam of firearms cases, sitting at 1,400 at the beginning of last year, is now 300…

Ohio AG clears more than 3,000 previously untested rape kits

Ohio BCIOhio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced that forensic scientists with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) have tested more than 3,000 previously untested rape kits.

Joe Biden promotes $35M proposal to test rape kits

rapekit backlogWASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday promoted President Barack Obama’s request for $35 million to help test more rape kits, saying it will help fight crime.
The money is included in the $3.9 trillion spending plan for the 2015 budget year that Obama unveiled this week. It would be used to provide grants of unspecified amounts to states and local governments, spending that would require approval from Congress.

Rape DNA kit backlogs continue to drown FDLE crime lab

sexual assault kitsORLANDO, Fla. — Channel 9 obtained records that show the Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime lab is drowning in a backlog of sexual battery DNA kits that need to be tested for evidence, which could delay justice for rape victims.

Lawmakers discuss how to deal with Utah’s backlog of rape kits

Assault kitCity Weekly reported in January on a survey conducted by a veteran Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner showing that 94 percent of reported adult sexual assaults in Salt Lake County were not prosecuted. The shocking statistic prompted lawmakers to dig into the logistics of how rape kits are often left on law-enforcement shelves, and they soon learned that the problem is not limited to Salt Lake County.