The Asheville Citizen recently published a story about the backlog of untested rape evidence kits in the State Crime Lab. “In North Carolina, forensic processing of the rape kits is time best measured in years, rather than months. Results can take from 18 months — sometimes much longer — to return.
The story quoted a rape victim who said “When I found out that rape kits weren’t getting tested, that was the next stab in my heart, and I cried for days,”
Now go back to September 5,2003 when WFMY TV reported “State Attorney General Roy Cooper says he’s dedicated to clearing a backlog of untested rape kits at police and sheriff’s departments across the state.”
Ten years ago, Attorney General Roy Cooper pledged to clear up the backlog of untested rape evidence kits in the State Crime Lab that he controls. Ten years later, the backlog still remains.
Like any politician, Attorney General Cooper blames a lack of resources for the mess in the State Crime Lab he pledged to fix 10 years ago. But 3 months after pledging to clean up the backlog in the Crime Lab, the News and Observer reported Roy Cooper was spending $945,000 in state funds on a massive ad campaign starring himself telling people about his work against telemarketers. (12/28/03)
So let’s get this straight. Attorney General Cooper pledged to clear up the backlog of untested rape evidence kits in the State Crime Lab. But instead of using all the resources at his disposal to actually do it, Attorney General Cooper spent $945,000 on TV ads promoting himself. And the backlog in the Crime Lab continues to this day.
It’s not surprising that a 30 year Raleigh insider like Roy Cooper would put political image building ahead of doing his job. Not surprising. But sad just the same.