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The Backlog

Tags: detroit

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

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 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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THE BACKLOG BLOGMarch 28, 2014

Between the Cracks: Exonerating the Innocent

If not for New York City’s rape kit backlog project, Michael Mercer might have spent the rest of his life in prison for a crime he did not commit.

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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.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGJanuary 23, 2014

The White House Report: A Commitment, a Call to Action and a Look at the Work that Remains

Yesterday's report on sexual assault from the White House demonstrates the Administration's deep commitment to ending sexual violence and improving the responses of our government, our criminal justice system, our schools and our communities, but also identifies that there is still a great deal of work to be done.

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ENDTHEBACKLOGSeptember 24, 2013

Rape Kit Backlog Featured on the Katie Couric Show

A courageous survivor named Helena and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy appeared alongside Mariska Hargitay to shed light on the backlog. Helena waited 14 years for justice. Worthy is working to address the backlog of over 11,000 in Detroit.

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The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionSeptember 4, 2013

A key to prosecuting rape

Every year, thousands of individuals take the courageous step of reporting their rape to the police. They overcome the terrible, misplaced social stigma of being the victim of sexual violence. A forensic exam of their bodies typically takes four to six hours. The evidence is then collected in a “Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit” — a rape kit.

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