May be a small victory here
Pass Melissa's Law in Oregon
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.
Davontae Sanford has been in prison for nearly nine years for a crime he did not commit. In 2007, Sanford, a partially blind, developmentally disabled 14-year-old child, was interrogated by police after four people were murdered on Runyon Street in his neighborhood. He was questioned twice without the presence of his parents or an attorney. In the second of his two statements, he implicated himself as one of the shooters, but later “told a psychologist that he had made it all up because the police had told him he could go home if he would ‘just [tell] them something.’”