Saturday, January 14, 2006

Rape cases hampered by crime lab backlog

Western Cape prosecutors reportedly want private forensic laboratories to be used to process DNA samples in rape cases. They say huge backlogs at police laboratories are delaying the prosecution of hundreds of rape cases for months, and in some cases, allowing alleged rapists to walk free. Legal sources at regional courts told a local newspaper that it was not unusual for sexual offences cases to be postponed more than 30 times while magistrates waited for DNA tests to be completed. Activists say especially in child rape cases, the processing of DNA need to be prioritised so that the cases can be dealt with as quickly as possible.

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