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Friday, August 01, 2014, 7:51 p.m.
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Report released on Memphis rape kit backlog

By The Associated Press

This article was published June 18, 2014 at 12:57 p.m.

MEMPHIS — A report says no single individual is responsible for a backlog of 12,000 rape kits that sat untested for years in Memphis.

The report compiled by former U.S. Attorney Veronica Coleman-Davis said no one "maliciously or wantonly" allowed thousands of rape kits to remain untested.

Instead, the report attributed the problem "to a general and collective failure to understand the importance of DNA testing as was reflected in common practices in place locally and nationwide."

Word of the backlog emerged last year, and it has led to a lawsuit from rape victims.

Experts say Memphis has one of the nation's largest known backlogs, and the Joyful Heart Foundation, a national organization with experience in dealing with rape kit backlogs, has been enlisted to help in the testing process.

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