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The Backlog

Tags: new york

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.

EndTheBacklogFebruary 21, 2017

The Accountability Project Uncovers Over 1,000 Additional Untested Rape Kits

Earlier this month, Joyful Heart released records acquired from 11 new jurisdictions through The Accountability Project. Using public records requests, we have uncovered more than 34,000 untested rape kits to date.

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EndTheBacklogNovember 29, 2016

Joyful Heart Foundation Applauds New York Law to Increase Accountability, Transparency for Sexual Assault Survivors

With this bill, New York has joined the growing number of states that have enacted rape kit reform laws.

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ENDTHEBACKLOGNovember 14, 2014

A Watershed Moment to End the Backlog

This week, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced $35 million in funding for jurisdictions to test backlogged rape kits—the single largest financial contribution toward ending the rape kit backlog.

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ENDTHEBACKLOGNovember 12, 2014

Remarks of Mariska Hargitay on Manhattan DA's New Initiative to Help End the Rape Kit Backlog

The rape kit backlog sends two terrible messages: to victims, it says: you don't matter. What happened to you doesn't matter. And to criminals, it says: what you did doesn't matter. Testing the kits reverses those messages.

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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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ENDTHEBACKLOGApril 15, 2012

Survivor’s Story: The Importance of Expanding the New York DNA Databank

Ann M. is the mother of a survivor who was raped when she was just 12 years old in her own home. Her family had to wait ten years for the perpetrator’s arrest. Ann, along with other courageous survivors, played an integral role in advocating for the recent passage of a law expanding New York State’s DNA Databank to include samples from offenders convicted of all crimes. We thank her for sharing her story and giving a voice to survivors across New York.

Survivor Stories

ENDTHEBACKLOGMarch 19, 2012

Governor Cuomo Signs Historic DNA Databank Bill in New York

Joyful Heart was honored to join Governor Cuomo in Albany on Monday as he signed the bill expanding New York State’s DNA Databank into law. The bill makes New York the first state in the nation to require DNA samples from anyone convicted of a felony or Penal Law misdemeanor. The new law also expands defendants’ access to DNA testing both before trial and after a conviction based on a guilty plea when appropriate. In other limited circumstances, defendants will now be able to seek discovery of property and other materials to demonstrate their actual innocence after conviction.

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