Samantha Bee on America's warehouses of untested rape kits

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Testing the kits could help catch serial offenders and reboot stalled investigations by corroborating facts from other reports. It’s also important to honor victims and survivors who endured the added trauma of a forensic exam after being raped.


"Yeah, but that’s haaaaaard.

Can’t we just convict drug addicts to keep prison numbers up, instead?"


Go Samantha!

The writing I’ve seen so far on this show is great, and it’s good to see her sinking her teeth harder than Stewart or Colbert usually did into pig flesh.

Waiting now for her to go after wealth hoarders.


Not sure that’s a fair criticism of Stewart. He may just be keeping Kosher.


This is one of the best examples of pretending to give a damn that I think i’ve ever seen! (Referring to the police officers, just to make that clear)


Warehouses of rape kits, binders full of women. We’re so organized!:

Dear Universe,
Please :dizzy_face: :gun:.


Because it is important to seem like you are doing something so people don’t realize you are pulling a pay check doing nothing. Fraud of this nature is vile…


It would be even easier to track down the folks at financial institutions committing white collar crimes like embezzlement and fraud, wouldn’t it?


Bee has been great so far, watching it gives you a sense of how much the Daily Show was pulling punches. So far my absolutely favourite thing from the show was the suggestion to replace Black History Month with Black Now Month - a month where we give a damn about actual black people who are alive today.


That’s easy:

  • filling out the rape kit is invasive and unpleasant for the victim, further punishing the “bad woman”

  • actually analyzing the kit would be a service to the “bad woman”, and might lead to charges that get some poor guy in trouble


Good thing that unresolved trauma and an indifferent justice system never contribute to drug abuse! These things just work themselves out.



What’s the answer? I have one idea, sort of.

I think that there are public services and goods that an expanded national service corps would be useful at providing. Manpower is part of the problem (of course priorities are a larger one), and I think that motivated smart young people are part of the solution, and can learn a lot along the way.

Spending a year processing rape kits (under an appropriate scientific protocol, oversight, labs, etc…) during or after college is an opportunity that many people would jump at. We can find the people to do the work.


I feel like Bee is probably obscuring something about why rape kits aren’t getting tested. Since the topic is rape, a dispassionate discussion that should happen probably wont, but maybe we can try.

Would testing the majority/all of them help catch how many? Examples? Dispassionate analysis? Do they need to test ones where the cops determined it was consensual, or they caught the rapist and he confessed anyway?

Almost all of her responses are tendentiously framed, and there is no real analysis. Do tested rape kits help? How much? Lets get some Bayesian analysis.

Bee has no valid interaction with the 17 year old girl case he mentioned. He’s saying there is no reason to test the kit: they already know the boyfriend had sex with the 17 year old. It won’t prove anything they don’t know. The Idaho sheriff had 8 rapes total in 2014. Sheesh.

That is quite a reframing of who is obscuring what, from whom. Impressive but unhelpful without a means of executing your more research is needed idea. And excellent juxstaposition of your anecdotal evidence after the call for more data for everyone else.

8/10, well trolled. Needs work. Carry on. :wink:


like i said. “a dispassionate discussion that should happen probably wont”

Yet that isn’t what the Sheriff said. He did not say “We already know who the suspects are so testing is redundant.” He said he doesn’t need to test the kits because the sex was consensual. Bee is predicating her piece on the idea that the accusation of rape should be believed, the Sheriff on the idea that the Sheriff’s Department’s determination of consent should believed. It is plausible that some reported rapes were consensual sex, but it also seems unlikely that the numbers of such cases are as prevalent as the Sheriff claimed.

Testing the kits in and of itself would do nothing in a department that refuses to proceed with the cases, though. So it isn’t really the testing of rape kits that is at issue in that situation, but the willingness of the Sheriff and the local prosecutor to prosecute rape cases.


unwillingness* FTFY.

Agreed though. I also find it hard to believe that there are 200k+ rape kits that there is no reason to test that are still around. In fact she does mention that there are kits for investigations that have not been solved sitting in a lot of these rooms. Why are they taking samples at all if these kits aren’t useful? It’s a pretty invasive procedure from what I understand. It’s more insulting than not taking a sample at all, i would think really.


It might well be trolling, yet I found Bee’s piece to be long on indignation and a bit short on metrics.

I’m appalled by the idea that rape kits for open cases can, and in some cases are, being destroyed. And I’m for testing them. But I would like to know the actual costs per test - money is a real thing that is in limited supply. Are the tests such that we can realistically afford to test each and every one, no matter what? Or is testing so expensive that it has to be prioritized? Without knowing the actual costs I have no idea.