This week, I chose to review a piece by Feministe admin Caperton, presented a sobering look at the Detroit Police Department’s failure to adequately follow through on rape cases (http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/02/18/detroit-prosecutor-faces-down-11000-untested-rape-kits/). An inspection of the Detroit Police Department’s evidence storage area revealed over 11,000 untested rape kits. 11,000. That’s 11,000 women who have been raped and have not had the opportunity to take action against their rapists because the police couldn’t be bothered to test their rape kits. Fortunately, prosecutor Kym Worthy (a female prosecuting attorney! Just thought I’d point that out, since we talked in class about how we tend to assume that women are defense attorneys rather than prosecutors) has taken the matter into her own hands and is spearheading efforts to test the kits and encourage other states to do the same.
Caperton quotes an NBC news article about the issue: “So far, 600 kits have been tested, and investigators say that they have discovered evidence of 21 serial rapists… Some of the kits tested have revealed sobering results. One kit from 2002 revealed DNA belonging to a man who was in prison for the murder of three women. The murders had been committed during the seven years the rape kit sat on a warehouse shelf.”
It is disgusting to me that the police would allow this sort of thing to happen. Isn’t it the law enforcement’s job to protect its citizens? (Actually, that’s a complicated question. Technically, the law enforcement’s job is to …well, enforce laws, but what I mean is that when their policies and the way they decide what to prioritize hinders the justice system like this, something is wrong. Anyway, I don’t really know enough about government and law enforcement to pass judgement on the question I just asked, but I would assume that, since the goal of our laws (theoretically) is to maintain a functional society and to protect citizens from each other, law enforcement should also be working toward that end). Part of the reason the police have neglected to test these kits may be that it costs rougly $1,200-$1,500 to test each kit. But it’s not like we have no way of raising that money. Perhaps some government funds need to be allocated for this kind of thing. -Again, I don’t know much about how our government decides how much money to funnel into all the different things they could sponsor, but you would think that getting serial rapists and potential killers off the streets would be a priority.
Anyway, thanks for reading all the way to the end. I have a reward for you: if you guys want a laugh (well, I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry), here’s the link to a post about Alabama state Representative Mary McClurkin (who, in Caperton’s words, is “stupid as a bucket of hair”) and her recent statement that fetuses are organs… uy. (http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/02/18/anatphys-101-with-mary-sue-mcclurkin-the-bodys-largest-organ-is-the-baby/).