Snyder signs law for for timelier rape kit processing - Fox 2 News Headlines

Snyder signs law for for timelier rape kit processing

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -  Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation Thursday ordering hospitals and law enforcement agencies to move quickly on processing rape kits.

The legislation came about because of the 10,000 case back log discovered in Detroit years ago.

With his signature on the new law, hospitals will have 14 days to get the kits into the hands of authorities. The authorities will then have 14 days to get it into the lab.

In the state police crime lab, the back log is down to 53 days but the goal is to get the turnaround time down to thirty.

Even though the law mandates a quicker time line for handling rape cases, there is language in the bill that gives the authorities an out. If the state, for example, does not have the person power nor the money, then the timelines don't mean anything.

"The pick, the responsibility of taking the rape kit and getting it to a police agency is firm, but the analysis of the test kit is dependent upon the money available for testing," says Representative John Walsh.

The Wayne County prosecutors office reports about 7,200 cases from the original 10,000 kits are still being reviewed, but the system is working.

Fox 2 political analyst Tim Skubick asks Mary Marrow from the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office if authorities have found some serial rapists among the kits.

She replies, "Yes, we believe at least 127 of those 450 hits are linked to serial rapists

The governor hopes to have the Detroit backlog resolve by May of next year.


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