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The Backlog

ENDTHEBACKLOG Blog

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.

EndTheBacklogOctober 20, 2011

Update in California: Governor Vetoes Rape Kit Bill

Governor Jerry Brown has returned Assembly Bill 322 to the California State Assembly without his signature. AB 322 would have established a two-and-a-half-year pilot program to test all rape kits in ten California counties that make arrests in fewer than 12% of reported forcible rapes.

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ENDTHEBACKLOGOctober 19, 2011

Progress on the Rape Kit Backlog in New Orleans

The New Orleans Police Department (NODP) is making progress on its backlog of over 800 untested rape kits. Various local news agencies reported that the NOPD expects that all kits, some of which date back to the 1980s, will be tested by early 2012.

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ENDTHEBACKLOGOctober 17, 2011

FBI to Revise Definition of Rape in Uniform Crime Report

After a decades-long campaign by women’s rights advocates, the FBI recently announced that it would revise the definition of rape in the Uniform Crime Report (UCR). Written more than 80 years ago, the current definition is problematic for several reasons.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGSeptember 25, 2011

New Case in Illinois Is a Deeply Troubling Reminder of the Importance of Testing Rape Kits

A corrections officer in Illinois has been charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old child in 1997 after a rape kit that was part of a backlog in Harvey, Illinois was finally tested. The case is another powerful and deeply troubling example that every untested rape kit represents the failure to bring justice to a survivor and to protect the public.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGSeptember 13, 2011

Update: California Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk for Signature

AB 322, California’s new rape kit bill, has been approved in the California State Assembly. It is now awaiting Governor Jerry Brown’s signature.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGSeptember 7, 2011

Update: California Rape Kit Bill Passes in State Senate; Seeks to Create Pilot Program for Processing Kits

A bill aimed at improving the backlog of untested rape kits in California has just passed in the California State Senate with a vote of 37-2. It will now be voted on in the assembly before heading to the Governor’s desk.

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ENDTHEBACKLOGAugust 9, 2011

DNA Testing Leads to a Conviction in an 18-Year Old Rape in New York City

A Reuters story about a man who has just pleaded guilty to an 18-year old sexual assault in New York stood out to us this week. This particular case highlights what an important tool DNA can be in identifying perpetrators of sexual assault. It’s also demonstrates that, even almost two decades later, rape kit testing can lead to justice.

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EndTheBacklogAugust 4, 2011

Cleveland Law Enforcement Learns Lessons in Responding to Sexual Violence from Anthony Sowell Case

Last month, we wrote about evidence contained in an untested rape kit that linked to Anthony Sowell who was, at the time, standing trial for murdering 11 women in Ohio. Sowell was convicted this week. Sentencing begins later in August.

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