Monday, October 22, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Bondi makes right call on rape kits

The Florida Legislature should answer Attorney General Pam Bondi's call for eliminating an unconscionable backlog of untested rape kits that are languishing in law enforcement evidence rooms all over the state. Kits can contain DNA specimens that put attackers in jail and make streets safer for everyone. Lawmakers should make sure Florida's crime labs have enough funding to make rape kit testing a top priority.

Rape victims are asked to forgo showers and submit to heart-rending procedures for collecting DNA that attackers might leave behind. This evidence helps authorities prosecute the immediate crime, and it is entered into a nationwide DNA database that can solve other assaults as well. Some rape kits, however, remain unprocessed when suspects confess or defendants contend that sexual acts were consensual. Testing costs, which can run $1,000, are a factor, as are long delays at underfunded crime labs. Other states have demonstrated that testing every kit results in more rape convictions, because unexpected DNA matches pop up on the national database.

Bondi estimates that thousands of Florida rape kits remain untested, some for years. A survey to pinpoint their locations is expected to be complete by January, and Florida just received federal grant money to help clear the backlog. The attorney general has wisely made this a priority, and the Legislature should chip in state money next year to make sure the job is completed.

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Editorial: Local leaders must act on climate change when Trump refuses

Editorial: Local leaders must act on climate change when Trump refuses

The effects of climate change are coming harder and faster than expected, according to a new report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Updated: 8 hours ago
Editorial notebook: Times editorial writers reminisce about Sears

Editorial notebook: Times editorial writers reminisce about Sears

Sharing memories of the “wish book,” shopping on Saturday nights and many memorable purchases
Published: 10/19/18

Editorial: FBI should take a hard look at CareerSource

The scrutiny now extends to the state agency that oversees the local jobs centers
Published: 10/19/18
Editorial: Toughen Florida’s building code

Editorial: Toughen Florida’s building code

Experts are right that Hurricane Michael should force a review of Florida’s building standards. While newer homes generally fared better than older ones, the state needs to reassess the risks posed by high winds and storm surge.
Published: 10/19/18
Editorial: Those who fail to cast ballots in Hillsborough are running out of excuses

Editorial: Those who fail to cast ballots in Hillsborough are running out of excuses

You wouldn't skip a trip to the gas pump, would you?Then don't miss the chance to cast your general election ballot, either, when Hillsborough County opens its many early voting sites Monday morning for a two-week engagement.If you do your homework a...
Published: 10/19/18

Editorial: Glazer Children’s Museum quickly regained its step

Jennifer Stancil was terminated from her $169,280 a year job last month as museum president and chief executive, a post she held for three years. Exactly why remained a mystery to those outside the museum.
Published: 10/18/18
Updated: 10/19/18
Editorial: Trump should demand Saudis account for journalist

Editorial: Trump should demand Saudis account for journalist

Twenty-seven journalists have been murdered so far this year just for doing their jobs, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. That number doesn’t even include Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident journalist who hasn’t been ...
Published: 10/17/18
Updated: 10/19/18
Editorial: Restart selection process for Florida Supreme Court justices

Editorial: Restart selection process for Florida Supreme Court justices

The Florida Supreme Court reached the right conclusion by ruling that the next governor has the authority to appoint three new justices to the court rather than departing Gov. Rick Scott. That is practical and reasonable, and it reflects the will of ...
Published: 10/16/18
Updated: 10/19/18

Editorial: Housecleaning was necessary at Clearwater parks department

The theft of money and a hostile atmosphere show a city department out of control
Published: 10/15/18
Updated: 10/19/18
Editorial: Bilirakis mimics Trump, colleagues in misleading voters

Editorial: Bilirakis mimics Trump, colleagues in misleading voters

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis wants voters to believe he is different than his Republican colleagues in Congress and President Donald Trump. The Palm Harbor Republican says he pays more attention to local issues than to the president, claims he doesnȁ...
Published: 10/15/18
Updated: 10/16/18