It’s hard to find anything wrong with this news item – there’s just too much that’s right. As per today’s New York Times:
The crib sheet on this one:
- Apparently Cyrus R. Vance, the Manhattan district attorney, is sitting on millions of dollars available for, well, worthy stuff.
- About $800 million.
- The money came from settlements with large banks when they violated US laws. Think HSBC, Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas. The cases are brought in NY, but they’re banks with national and international reach.
- Tens of thousand of rape-test kits are sitting, never DNA analyzed, in police departments all over America.
- An estimated 70,000, to be more specific.
- This means that compelling DNA evidence is never used to identify, track, or prosecute rapists.
- And it means that victims’ claims are way down on the priority list, essentially not pursued. They’re not pursued for a host of messed-up reasons, but that’s another topic.
- A great idea: send some of this money to the police departments and sheriff’s offices with all this dust-collecting, languishing evidence so the police actually test it.
- How about, say $38 million of it?
- Way to go Cyrus Vance!
- And, on top of that, Joe Biden – the long-time women’s advocate Joe Biden, the Joe Biden who sponsored the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, way before it was cool – was on hand for the announcement.
- The Justice Department is contributing another $41 million for testing and also…
- To look at why the backlog continues in the first place!
Thanks, folks 🙂
For more info:
Watch the full press conference here.
See if your city is included – read all the details from the DA announcement here.
See the USA Today investigative report on untested rape kits here.
Read about, or support, the NGO which has helped bring this issue to national attention EndtheBacklog.
For great data, don’t forget about RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.