Governor Signs Law to Analyze Rape Kits Faster

Snyder signed House Bill 5445 which creates the Sexual Assault Kit Evidence Submission Act.  It was approved unanimously in the House and Senate.

There's a new state law on the books aimed at catching rapists before they attack again.

Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation Thursday, that establishes timelines for medical facilities, police and labs that process rape kits.
The Governor signed the bill at the Michigan State Police Forensic Crime Lab in Lansing. He first took a tour of the facility where scientists analyze DNA evidence collected from victims.

The state is currently spending $4 million dollars to process thousands of rape kits due to a serious backlog. Back in 2009, when the state took over Detroit's lab, more than 11,000 rape kits were found in an old police warehouse dating back some 25 years.

Governor Snyder said, "This sends a strong message to say that shouldn't happen. That's what this legislation is really all about. About being proactive to set guidelines to say, in these situations, lets move promptly, lets get evidence tested, and lets hopefully go after effective prosecution where law has been broken and people have been violated."

Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings says the new law is the first step toward making sure rape kits are processed in a timely manner. He says the next step is to keep better track of them. Dunnings says pilot programs are planned for some counties that will use the same kind of system private postal carriers use to track packages


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