Senate Passes Cornyn-Bennet Bill to Fight Nationwide Rape Kit Backlog
From Staff Reports
WASHINGTON— Today U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and former Texas Attorney General, issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting (SAFER) Act, a bipartisan bill to audit and reduce the backlog of untested rape kits sitting in the possession of law enforcement agencies across the country:
"For far too long untested rape kits have been piling up due to limited resources prescribed by antiquated laws, denying justice and compounding the pain for an untold number of victims in cities across Texas and the nation.
"Today we took a large step toward ensuring justice for victims of sexual assault. I’m encouraged by the unanimous support the SAFER Act received in the Senate and look forward to a vote on the House floor.”
Sen. Cornyn along with Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the legislation to fight the backlog, which experts have pegged as high as 400,000. Endorsed by key national victims’ rights groups, this deficit-neutral bill will provide funding for state and local governments to conduct audits of untested DNA evidence and create a national reporting system to help track and prioritize untested rape kits. U.S. Reps. Ted Poe (TX-02) and Carolyn Maloney (NY-14) recently introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives.
The SAFER Act
•Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
•Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
•National Organization for Women (NOW)
•Concerned Women for America (CWA)
•National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)
•National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV)
•National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)
•Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA)
•Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV)
Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Armed Services and Budget Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.