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The Backlog

Tags: cleveland

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 BLOGOctober 1, 2014

Cold Case Convictions: Cuyahoga County

Cleveland, which is located in Cuyahoga County, has been leading the way in securing cold case convictions after submitting nearly 4,000 backlogged rape kits for testing as part of Ohio's Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative.

News

THE BACKLOG BLOGJuly 9, 2014

Cold Case Convictions: Rape Kit Testing Leads to Convictions Decades Later

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.

Blog

THE BACKLOG BLOGApril 25, 2014

An Interview with Rachel Dissell and Leila Atassi

Their investigative work with the Cleveland Plain Dealer has explored each facet of the criminal justice response to sexual violence—from rape kit testing to victim re-engagement to prosecution. Read our interview with them.

First Person

ENDTHEBACKLOGApril 22, 2014

1,104 DNA Hits Generated in Ohio’s Continued Rape Kit Backlog Progress

Since Ohio's rape kit testing initiative began in 2011, 125 agencies have submitted 6,437 kits—about half of which have been tested.

News

THE BACKLOG BLOGJanuary 28, 2014

Considering the Rape Kit Backlog in Ohio

As NPR reported this week, "rape kits give evidence to victims' stories." Law enforcement must count, track and test the kits in their evidence rooms—they must believe and honor survivors' decisions to participate in the criminal justice process.

Blog

THE BACKLOG BLOGDecember 13, 2013

Ohio's Rape Kit Testing Continues to Yield Results

Last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released the latest numbers on his state’s efforts to end its backlog of untested rape kits, which currently stands at 4,956.

News

The Cleveland Plain DealerAugust 6, 2013

Guest Blog Sarah Tofte: Police often abandoned rape kits and investigations

Most Americans with a general knowledge of our criminal justice system assume that rape kit evidence is sent for testing automatically after it is booked into police evidence. As DNA has played an increasingly important role in our criminal justice system, even laypeople grasp how vital DNA evidence is in resolving rape cases. Rape kit testing can identify an unknown assailant, confirm the presence of a known suspect, affirm a victim's version of events, discredit a suspect's story, identify serial rapists by connecting individual crime scenes, and exonerate innocent suspects. Rape kit testing sends a crucial message to victims that their cases matter. It puts assailants on notice that the criminal justice system takes their crimes seriously.

News

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