The Rape Kit Controversy - - 2004-11-11 04:43:19
The Rape Kit Controversy
In cities across the
country, hundreds of thousands of rape kits are sitting untested in police
department evidence rooms. These kits contain DNA that could lead to the arrest
of rapists and free wrongly convicted men. Some of these kits have gone untested
for more than a decade due to a lack of funding.
Howard Safir, former Police Commissioner of New York City, found there were 16,000 untested kits in storage when he was in office. Now a consultant for a DNA testing lab, Howard estimates there are 300,000–500,000 untested kits across the country. Howard says, "Not testing a woman's kit is like telling her 'You are not worth $500.'"
To investigate this problem further, ABC's 20/20 paid the police department of Baltimore half of the money needed to test 50 rape kits. Their investigation solved five major crime cases and exonerated a wrongfully imprisoned man. Brian Ross, Chief Investigative Correspondent for ABC News, says that in Baltimore alone, it would take an estimated $4.5 million dollars to process their backlog of rape kits.
journalist H.L. Mencken said that an investigative reporter is a great one if he
either puts somebody in jail or gets someone out. For the first time in a story
I've done, this did both ...and it helped expose a national problem that exists
in virtually every city and state in the country," says
The above article is courtesy of the Oprah Showat www.oprah.com
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