Advertisement
San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan (second from right, in foreground). (Photo: Courtesy of the San Diego County District Attorney)

In response to a new federal Department of Justice guideline, District Attorney Summer Stephan said she’s pushing crime labs to test their entire inventory of rape kits and is going as far as adjusting her own budget to help pay for the analyses.

“This is such a priority for me that I’ve asked my fiscal team to look at where can we cut from our budget and re-resource it to help pay for subcontracts, or to help with whatever is needed to assist the labs in clearing the inventory,” Stephan said in an interview at her office.

Her hope is to bring the number of untested rape kits at the San Diego city and county crime labs from about 2,300 to zero.

While Stephan wants DNA samples in all of the rape kits analyzed, the two labs both said that public safety has not been hurt because of the untested kits. And while the Justice Department now recommends testing all kits when possible, an earlier study conducted on the the department’s behalf recommended otherwise after researchers found that in one case study comprehensive testing is expensive and produced limited results that could be used to fight crime.

Read more

Advertisement
Advertisement