Simotas Bill to Prevent Rape Kit Backlog Passes; Legislator O'Donnell Proud to Co-Sponsor
Today, the legislature passed A10067/S6430, Assemblymember Simotas' bill to speed up testing of rape kits in order to prevent future backlogs. The bill mandates that when law enforcement agencies receive a rape kit, it must be sent to a forensic laboratory for testing within 10 days. Forensic laboratories must test the kits and develop Combined DNA Index system (CODIS) eligible profiles and report results back to the submitting police agency and local district attorney within 90 days. After the vote, O'Donnell stated:
“I am proud to co-sponsor this important bill with Assemblymember Simotas. As a former public defender for many years, I know all too well how the absence of common sense measures, such as timely testing of rape kits, denies justice to women. It is incomprehensible that our criminal justice system would overlook the testing of evidence from such violent crimes. I look forward to touring the law enforcement facilities that hold the rape kits this summer with Assembly Member Simotas to see her hard work in action. I praise her leadership in getting this bill passed in both houses, and hope that the Governor signs the bill as soon as possible,” O’Donnell said.