Rape Kit Bill Passes House Committee
The bill that would require the TBI to test a rape kit within 30 days of receiving the evidence has now advanced in the state house. The bill passed the Government Operations Committee, Monday. Tennessee has a backlog of rape kit tests and that backlog came under fire last September with the death of jogger Eliza Fletcher in Memphis. The man responsible for her murder has been involved in a rape case back in 2021 but the DNA evidence in that rape kit was not tested for over a year. It was tested the day of Eliza Fletcher’s murder. Critics say that if that DNA had been tested in a timely manner, Fletcher’s killer would not have been on the street. The average turnaround time on rape test kits with the TBI right now is 34 weeks. The TBI says if the bill passes, they will need more funding to add additional lab space and hire more technicians. For right now, the TBI says the will be outsourcing nearly 1,000 of the current sexual assault kits to Florida to reduce the turnaround times.