Monday, December 30 2013 6:26 PM EST2013-12-30 23:26:47 GMT
(WMC-TV) – A national organization is on its way to Memphis to help with the backlog of more than 12,000 rape kits. The Joyful Heart Foundation, founded by Law and Order actress Mariska Hargitay, assistsMore >>
A national organization founded by "Law & Order: SVU" actress Mariska Hargitay will help Memphis with the backlog of more than 12,000 rape kits.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:11 PM EST2013-12-12 00:11:35 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A rape kit done more than a decade ago helped to find justice for one victim in Shelby County. That victim is now encouraging others to pursue justice. Even though she had to wait more thanMore >>
A rape kit done more than a decade ago helped to find justice for one victim in Shelby County this week. That victim is now encouraging others to pursue justice.More >>
Friday, August 22 2014 11:33 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:33:57 GMT
The Pine Hill Volunteer Fire Department is receiving a new ladder truck Friday which will enhance their response coverage area. The Alabama Forestry Commission is presenting the 2006 fire engine ladderMore >>
The Pine Hill Volunteer Fire Department is receiving a new ladder truck Friday which will enhance their response coverage area.More >>
Friday, August 22 2014 11:19 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:19:51 GMT
Governor Robert Bentley is joining school representatives and mascots from Alabama's 14 public universities and colleges promoting the upcoming College Colors Day.This College Color Day celebration isMore >>
Governor Robert Bentley is joining school representatives and mascots from Alabama's 14 public universities and colleges promoting the upcoming College Colors Day.More >>
Friday, August 22 2014 11:15 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:15:17 GMT
Ukraine's armed forces say they have caused heavy casualties among pro-Russian separatist forces, although their overall advance quelling the rebel resistance remains haphazard and faltering.More >>
Russia sent over 130 aid trucks rolling into rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Friday without Kiev's approval, saying it had lost patience with the Ukrainian government's stalling tactics. Ukraine called the move a...More >>
Friday, August 22 2014 11:04 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:04:50 GMT
A Gaza health official says two Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli airstrike as fighting continued for a third day after the collapse of Egyptian-led cease-fire talks.More >>
Gaza gunmen killed 18 alleged spies for Israel on Friday, including seven who were lined up behind a mosque with bags over their heads and shot in front of hundreds of people. The killings came in response to Israel's...More >>
(WMC-TV) - Many rape victims say they were violated again when their rape kits were left untested. Although, a lack of testing does not necessarily violate their constitutional rights.
The backlog in the more than 12,000 untested rape kids goes back to the 1980s. Bill Gibbons served as the District Attorney from 1997 to 2011.
"It's more of a systemic failure over decades. And why? I don't have the answer for that," he said.
But for victims, answers are the only thing they hope for after going through the process of a rape test kit.
"You're laid out on a table. They put your feet up in stirrups, you know, and you're there forever. And it's not fun," said an anonymous victim, whose rape kit sat on a shelf for two years before it was tested.
Many woman leave with the expectation that their kit will be tested and could possibly lead to an arrest, but it turns out that may not be their constitutional right.
"The state has a general obligation to enforce the law, but a wide desecration in deciding how variously to do it and not to do it," said
constitutional Attorney Steve Mulroy.
He says the only way a woman's rights are violated in this case is if the delay or backlog was because of discrimination.
"There's no constitutional right being violated, no cause for a judge to intervene ... At least under federal constitutional law," said Mulroy.
Gibbons had no comment on the constitutionality of testing kits, but he admits that looking back it is something that should have been done.
He hopes that will change in the future.
"I think it was a systemic failure, and I don't think you can really pin point any particular individual who was responsible for it," said Gibbons.
Gibbons says under his leadership he followed the policy, which was to routinely ask TBI to test any kit that investigators asked to have tested.
Right now, the City of Memphis is responding to a federal lawsuit to try and prevent this from happening again.
Copyright 2014 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.
12 East Delano Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36105