5 takeaways from CNN's investigation into rape kit destruction
Updated 10:12 AM ET, Thu November 29, 2018
Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds.
An examination into the destruction of rape kits in dozens of agencies across the country found that police trashed evidence in 400 cases before the statutes of limitations expired or when there was no time limit to prosecute.
The number is likely higher and was calculated by analyzing the departments' own records.
The destruction occurred since 2010 and followed flawed and incomplete police investigations.
Most of the kits were untested, CNN found, and dozens were discarded mere weeks or months after police took custody of the evidence.
Journalists long ago brought to light the failure of law enforcement agencies to send thousands of rape kits to be analyzed for DNA. That revelation ignited national outrage, prompted the passage of laws ordering the testing of rape kits and spurred the Justice Department to award more than $150 million to help analyze the backlog.
"Destroyed" exposes a lesser-known and more fundamental problem:
The rape kits are gone. They can never be used to lock up a rapist or exonerate the wrongfully convicted.