Across the country, the rape kit backlog is making headlines. Journalists are uncovering backlogs, jurisdictions are implementing reforms to track and test rape kits and citizens are taking action. In the Media Center, you'll find the latest information about the backlog, including: commentary from the ENDTHEBACKLOG staff and backlog reformers, first-person testimonials from those impacted by the backlog, an archive of news articles, op-eds, investigative reports, legislation and government publications we've identified, and more.
THE BACKLOG BLOGNovember 26, 2014
An untested rape kit from 1988 was recently tested in Detroit, leading to the arrest and conviction of serial offender Michael Eugene Swygart. Twenty-five years after the rape took place, Swygart has been sentenced to 40-75 years in prison on charges of criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping.
THE BACKLOG BLOGOctober 30, 2014
We often hear a variety of reasons why all kits should not be tested. A recent explanation, however, was one we had not heard before. In listing instances in which kits were not sent for testing, documents from one department stated, “No male suspect.” Upon further investigation, we learned this notation meant the case was “a female on female sex crime.”
THE BACKLOG BLOGAugust 20, 2014
We turn to the story of 57-year-old Michael Phillips of Dallas, Texas, who was exonerated on July 25 after having spent 12 years in prison on charges of rape.
THE BACKLOG BLOGJuly 9, 2014
Our new series, Cold Case Convictions, begins, highlighting the consequences in allowing rape kits to remain untested, as well as the value DNA evidence has for bringing justice to victims of sexual assault.