Snyder Signs Legislation to Ensure Speedy Rape Kit Testing
Governor Snyder will go off-site today to sign legislation that is designed to bring justice more quickly to victims of sexual assault.
The governor is set to tour a Michgian State Police forensic lab in Lansing today to sign into law the Sexual Assault Kit Evidence Submission Act.
The Lansing State Journal reports that the legislation will set time limits on collection, submission and analysis of evidence in rape cases.
House Bill 5445 sets a 14-day limit for kits to be submitted to accredited labs for possession amd testing. They must then analyze the material within 90 days.
The report indicates the law sets those deadlines “provided that sufficient staffing and resources are available to do so.”
The legislation was prompted by the discovery of over 11,000 untested rape kits in Detroit–the largest backlog in the country–back in 2009.. The kits apparently were lost but later found in an abandoned police warehouse several years after the evidence was collected.
Money was since allocated by the legislature to test the kits in private labs. The new law also allots money for prosecutors to order the testing.
“These victims deserve the full administration of justice, and the first step to that end is to quickly and properly process these kits,” said Representative Kurt Heise, a Republican from Plymouth.
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