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Joyful Heart in the News
White House, NYC prosecutor pledge $79 million to test rape kits
An estimated 70,000 rape kits sitting in laboratories and evidence collection rooms across the country will be tested with a combined $79 million in federal and New York City funds designed to cut the backlog of untested DNA evidence in 27 states, officials announced Thursday.
"There's nothing more consequential than giving a woman back her life," said Vice President Joe Biden, after touring the New York City medical examiner's testing lab with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and "Law & Order: SVU" actress Mariska Hargitay.
The White House will contribute $41 million toward the effort, supporting not just testing efforts but also funding auditing and training for localities on police and forensic best practices. Vance, who secured $38 million in asset forfeiture money, said he hopes tested cases will lead to convictions and, in turn, restore faith in the justice system for sexual assault victims.