The National Organization for Women sent out a press release last week asking for funding of DNA testing of rape evidence. Just for a second I thought maybe NOW had gotten its head out of its rear end and was going to call for judicial reform to make sure men convicted of rape who claim their innocent get a chance at clearing their name with DNA testing. But, of course not. Instead NOW wants $250 million to process a backlog of rape kits stored by police around the country.
According to NOW, there are thousands of rape kits sitting in police evidence lockers that have never had a basic DNA analysis conducted. Why? Because it costs $1,500 and those silly police seem to think that the best time to do a DNA test is when there is a suspect in hand to compare the DNA to. NOW, on the other hand, seems to think that women’s will be helped by a $250 million effort to make sure that DNA test results sit in evidence lockers until a suspect is in hand (and without some sort of national DNA database, that’s what will happen with almost all of these results).
On the other hand, NOW has yet to call for any sort of funding to allow convicted rapists who claim they are innocent to avail themselves of DNA testing. In many cases, they cannot afford such testing and even if they can, in some cases inmates long ago exhausted all appeals and courts are wary of taking another look at the case, even just to examine DNA evidence.
But when it comes to justice, the NOW is satisfied to remain an girls-only club.
NOW urges funds for DNA testing of rape evidence. NOW Press Office, March 13, 2002.