ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Police must submit rape kits containing DNA evidence to laboratories within 10 days of collecting it under legislation heading to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk.
The bill also requires labs to process evidence within 90 days and calls for clearing any backlog of the evidence kits, which can be used to identify suspects whose DNA is already in police databases.
It would require police submit older rape kits to labs within 180 days, with the DNA evidence due back from the labs 120 days after that.
Sponsors say New York lacks a tracking mechanism so there’s no way of knowing how many kits are unprocessed. Some reports suggest many police precincts have kits on their shelves that could solve crimes and exonerate innocent people.