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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 BLOGJune 26, 2015

News Roundup: The High Barriers to Justice

It is estimated that only between 2 and 8% of rape accusations are false. Yet rape victims face one of the steepest barriers to being believed by the criminal justice system, and their cases are the least likely of any violent crime to move forward through prosecution. Several news articles over the past few days illustrate just how steep that barrier can be.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGJanuary 13, 2015

Detroit Launches Fundraising Initiative to Address Rape Kit Backlog

On Tuesday, January 6th 2015, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Detroit Crime Commission, and Michigan Women’s Foundation announced a new public-private collaboration for justice: Enough SAID (Sexual Assault in Detroit).

News

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 6, 2014

Experts Explain Why Testing Every Kit Matters

We sometimes hear from jurisdictions that they don’t consider the untested rape kits in their storage facilities to be part of a backlog—that officials actively chose not to test those kits. These jurisdictions fail to see the value of testing every kit booked into evidence, particularly when the identity of the perpetrator is known.

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.

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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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