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The Backlog

Tags: cold case convictions

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 END THE BACKLOG 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 24, 2017

Portrait of a Serial Rapist

Testing rape kits swiftly helps link crimes together and identify serial rapists sooner. Studies of perpetrators identified through testing backlogged kits show that serial offenders commit many types of violent crimes, including crimes against intimate partners and acquaintances. James Drane of Detroit is one of the many perpetrators linked to both domestic violence and sexual assault.

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EndTheBacklogMay 8, 2017

Justice Delayed: 20 Years Later, a Conviction

On August 30, 1997, an 18-year-old woman was walking home from a friend’s house in Columbus, Ohio when a stranger violently attacked and raped her. Last month, 20 years after the attack, Joseph E. Carter was finally convicted for rape.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGMarch 3, 2015

Cold Case Convictions: Cleveland

In Cleveland, five cold cases involving two perpetrators have been solved as a result of DNA evidence found in previously untested rape kits.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGNovember 26, 2014

Cold Case Convictions: Detroit

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.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGNovember 21, 2014

Cold Case Convictions: Tennessee

This week in our Cold Case Convictions series, where we highlight cases in which the testing of rape kits years later helps bring perpetrators to justice, we turn to Tennessee.

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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.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGAugust 20, 2014

Cold Case Convictions: Using DNA to Exonerate the Innocent

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.

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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.

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