The Very Real Consequences Of Leaving Rape Kits Unprocessed

Emma Roller | National Journal | March 19, 2014

Detroit identified 100 serial rapists from a cache of forgotten rape kits.

There are serious consequences when state and federal governments don't put enough money into DNA testing. Need evidence? Just look at Detroit.

In Detroit, a backlog of rape kits uncovered four years ago was finally processed, leading to the identification of 100 serial rapists. More than 11,000 unprocessed rape kits were found in a police storage facility in 2009, with some of the kits dating back to the 1980s. Detroit's WXYZ reports that 1,600 of the newly discovered rape kits have been processed so far.

The backlog of unprocessed rape kits in the U.S. is shocking. Law enforcement officials use rape kits—which include a DNA test—to determine whether someone has been sexually assaulted.