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AG Jackley Responds to Rape Kit Backlog by Adding DNA Examiner

After watching the processing time for rape kits nearly double over the last eight years from 30 days to 55, Attorney General Marty Jackley has finally decided the state ought to make a little more effort to process that evidence and catch rapists:

So far this year, a team of only six state examiners have completed a case load of nearly 1,000 assignments, but they’re about to get some help.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said “today, I’ve also further authorized additional resources, including another DNA examiner position for the state to complete DNA testing.”

“I feel that it will justify an additional DNA examiner, in the state forensics lab to assist with the increased number of cases, as well as some of the different backlog that we’re receiving,” Jackley added [Mark Roper, “State Crime Lab to Catch up on Rape Kit Backlog,” KSFY-TV, 2015.12.21].

Adding one DNA examiner to a team of six is one small step toward swifter, surer justice. It will make a more practical difference in helping rape victims pursue justice than anything in Jason Glodt’s constitutional amendment. We can only wonder why the state would wait so long to take this practical action to better serve women who have been harmed.


  1. mike from iowa 2015-12-23 07:39

    This could be a great hire. Having said that,I wonder if this person is a Jackley loyalist. Color me super suspicious from iowa.

  2. Rorschach 2015-12-23 09:12

    Jackley didn’t give a crap about this problem that got worse on his watch. Here is his position as reported in the Argus on Sunday, December 20, 2016:

    “Jackley said there is no timetable for clearing the backlog of untested kits, and that expediting the process would require money to hire another examiner. He said he’s reluctant to request that funding from the legislature, in part because it’s unclear what that staff position would do once the lab is caught up.”

    It only took Jackley one day of backlash to realize he could be in some political trouble. Monday, December 21, he mysteriously found the money to hire an extra examiner without having to ask the legislature, and even without knowing what that staff position would do once the lab is caught up. I guess the problem wasn’t money or uncertainty after all. The problem was Jackley’s unwillingness to address the backlog he created. Once again, the public is poorly served until the press starts asking questions.

  3. Rorschach 2015-12-23 10:42

    Jackley didn’t send the kits to a commercial lab either. He just let them pile up.

  4. Rorschach 2015-12-23 10:46

    The other DNA issue Jackley has let fester is the testing of DNA swabs that everyone charged with a felony is required by law to give. We were holding a guy in prison here who murdered someone in Minnesota, but his DNA swab went untested along with countless others. It wasn’t until just before he was to be released that his DNA was tested and matched to the Minnesota crime. Justice delayed … . How many crimes could be solved if Jackley viewed DNA testing as a priority rather than an expense he’s unwilling to pay?

  5. mike from iowa 2015-12-23 12:30

    Jackley didn’t seem at all shy about going after state employees who rock his dinghy and possibly threaten the gravy train of taking Indian kids and placing them in foster environments that may not be idea. I hope no one expects kudos from me to Jackley for quick,decisive action destroying the lives of dedicated public servants. You know the ones I’m talking about. I hope they get their days in court and the state has to pay for its sins against them.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-23 17:11

    Ror! Good point! That’s a quick change of heart from the AG. In the spirit of the holidays, may we take this as proof that the AG is responsive to public pressure to do the right thing?

    But maybe the cynic should ask where AG Jackley suddenly found the cash for this new hire. What got cut?

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