Pass Melissa's Law in Oregon
This petition made change with 5,870 supporters!
On December 13th, 2001, our 14-year-old daughter Melissa was tragically raped, sodomized, and murdered in the backyard of a neighbor while on her way to school. The loss of Melissa could have been prevented, if all rape kits were processed by Portland police.
In 1997, three teenagers were dragged behind houses and raped. Two rape kits were not processed until years later, after Melissa was murdered, finally connecting them to our case. Had they been tested with urgency, her killer would most likely have been in jail and not free to kill our daughter.
We expect police to test rape kits in a timely and efficient manner; but this is not the case. In July of 2002 we were assured by law enforcement that the backlog of rape kits would be processed. Now in 2016, there are twice as many backlogged.
We’re calling on the Oregon House to pass Melissa’s Bill, which will require police to pick up rape kits within seven days of a hospital alerting them and submit the kit for testing within 14 days of receipt.
Melissa’s Bill will also provide $1.5 million to the state crime lab to hire nine new DNA and biology evidence technicians to help process the kits. State police will be required to give annual updates to lawmakers on the progress of their testing of kits.
In Portland alone there are over 2,000 backlogged and untested rape kits. There are 5,000 throughout the state. This is unacceptable. Melissa’s Bill was just passed by the Oregon Senate. We’re so close to getting it passed in the House and signed into law. That’s why your signature is so important.
No family should have to go through a loss like ours. Please sign our petition and ask the Oregon House to pass Melissa’s Bill.
Mary Bittler, Tom Bittler & Teresa McPherson
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