‘I Am Evidence’ review: HBO documentary examines problem of untested rape kits

Amid a current wave of coverage heightening awareness about sexual assault, the documentary focuses on a particular — along with particularly maddening — aspect of law enforcement, with differing standards across cities regarding the processing of rape kits.

Many of those kits sit unprocessed, with officials pleading poverty or a shortage of man power. Yet because so many rapists are repeat offenders, that will failure to act can mean allowing others to be victimized who might have been spared by a DNA match.

Moreover, the likelihood of victims receiving timely attention is usually shown to fluctuate based on economic status along with race, a pattern also seen inside way those reporting rapes are questioned by police along with treated in court.

Hargitay appears briefly — speaking to along with strategizing with experts — yet doesn’t get inside way of the first-person accounts, which, as the title suggests, are deeply personal along with harrowing. “I felt like my body was a crime scene,” one of the women interviewed recalls.

Those stories (some augmented by surveillance video along with courtroom proceedings) also offer a geographical cross-section, as directors Trish Adlesic along with Geeta Gandbhir make stops in Baltimore, Cleveland along with Los Angeles.

Like any Great piece of advocacy journalism, “I Am Evidence” contains a strong point of view, one that will derives power coming from its simplicity: Finding the money to promptly analyze kits will provide closure for those who were attacked along with almost surely prevent future crimes. The fact that will former Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty calls rape kits “the best bargain inside history of law enforcement” — given that will one in four leads to a conviction — only makes the failure to take advantage of the science all the more frustrating.

The policy implications — along with associated call to action — thus appear entirely self-evident. along with in roughly the time the item takes to watch a pair of “Law & Order” episodes, “I Am Evidence” more than makes its case.

“I Am Evidence” premieres April 16 at 8 p.m. on HBO.

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