Battling the Backlog
The backlog of untested sexual assault kits is of concern across the forensic and legal fields. Meet Sarah Lum and Charlie Clark, two early-career analytical scientists working on techniques to speed up justice.
Sarah Lum and Charlie Clark |
Battling the Backlog: Part I
With Sarah Lum
I started my career in capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) instrument development with laser-induced fluorescence detection, for environmental applications. While attending the Microscale Separations and Bioanalysis Conference in Canada in 2016 to present my research, I went to a forensics session and was shocked to hear about the major backlog in sexual assault cases in the US. As it stands, there’s tens of thousands of rape kits awaiting analysis in the US – that’s tens of thousands of victims whose lives could be on hold while they await justice. The injustice of it deeply affected me. Afterwards, I asked the presenter if anyone had attempted the separation using capillary electrophoresis. He said, “No! Why don’t you give it a try?” So I started working on it in my spare time.
Battling the Backlog: Part II
With Charlie Clark
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