Trump signs bill to eliminate rape kit testing backlog

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Coronavirus hits defense contractor jobs Wake up America, your country doesn't value your life MORE signed a bill Monday to help eliminate the number of rape kits that need testing and are currently stalled in a backlog.

The legislation will provide funding from the Department of Justice to help local governments get through the backlog of untested rape kits. Currently, there are more than 100,000 untested rape kits across the U.S., according to ABC News.

The White House said the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2019 will ensure that “criminals are brought to justice,” according to a statement from press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamUK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus White House press secretary to return to work after negative virus test Trump signs executive order to prevent price gouging, hoarding of medical supplies MORE

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“We know that DNA is much more likely than fingerprints to result in the identification of a criminal, yet thousands of rape kits currently sit untested in labs and on police storage shelves across the Nation,” Grisham’s statement read.

The legislation will provide $151 million to the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program, $12.5 million for DNA training and education programs, and $30 million for the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Grant Program, ABC News reported.

The bill, which was originally passed in 2004, was named after a victim who was attacked in 1989 and whose evidence wasn’t tested until five years later. 

Since 2005, it has led to more than 40 percent of DNA matches because of its funding, the network reported. Advocates say fighting the backlog is important because of the race against the clock with the statute of limitations in some jurisdictions.

The funding traditionally has bipartisan support but got caught in the middle of the debate surrounding the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act this year, according to ABC News.