The Free Market Solution To Rape Kit Testing

Rape is not a subject that many people enjoy talking about, but we have a serious problem in the state of Texas when it comes to the number of rapes that go unsolved because the DNA collected from the victim is never tested. As of January 2017, the state of Texas had 19,051 untested rape kits sitting in crime labs across the state. The rape kit consists of various swabs and samples of the victim, with the hope being that the assailant left his DNA on the victim during the rape and can be identified. In order to get a conviction in court, and have the assailant punished, the rape kits must be tested. If these kits are not being tested, then rapists are able to roam the streets and avoid punishment while remaining a threat to other women. 

Despite the fact that tens of millions of dollars have been allocated to various law enforcement agencies throughout the state for the express purpose of testing these kits, the number of outstanding kits is still staggering. Why does Texas have so many untested rape kits? According to End the Backlog, a nonprofit in Texas that is devoted to finding ways to make rape a higher priority amongst law enforcement agencies, this backlog has been created by four factors: lack of clear procedures and outdated policies, lack of training about the power of DNA, refusal to test kits when the assailant is unknown, and a lack of money. While outdated policies and lack of training is a relatively easy fix, how do we get additional money to test these kits?

Enter Victoria Neave, a freshman state representative out of Dallas County. Her HB1729 bill, which was co-authored with various other members of the House, would allow citizens of Texas to voluntarily donate to a fund that will only be used for the purpose of testing rape kits. They can make this donation when they go in to get new driver’s licenses or when they renew their expiring ones. The testing of rape kits will be done by “accredited crime laboratories,” which means that the police departments will actually be outsourcing the testing of the kits to approved private labs. This bill passed the House at the beginning of the month and is now pending a vote in the state Senate. If passed by the Senate, this will be a very large victory for the thousands of victims who have not been able to see their attackers punished. This will also be a victory for those who believe that the free market is better equipped than the government to offer solutions for complex problems. 

The Libertarian Party’s stance on most issues has always been that the free market can operate more efficiently than the government. When you remove a lot of the unnecessary bureaucracy that exists within the government, you are able to see solutions a lot more readily. This is a simple concept but is so often missed by our elected representatives because they do not benefit when we take power out of their hands. This bill, and hopefully the eventual implementation of its requirements, will show that private citizens can facilitate a more effective justice system for rape victims in the state of Texas than the state itself can facilitate due to its lack of resources. Nobody needs to be forced to pay for something they do not support because those who do support something will step up when given the opportunity. 

I just love the free market. Don’t you?

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Eminent Domain Is Always A Violation Of Our Rights – No Exceptions

Senator Don Huffines recently wrote an editorial piece for the Dallas Morning News in favor of the use of eminent domain – in this case specifically in support of a high-speed rail system between Dallas and Houston.

Everyone (rightly) pilloried United Airlines for their violent “re-accommodation” of a customer this week, and most reasonable people thought that the solution was for United to continue to offer higher compensation until they were able to get four passengers willing to take the deal.

How is this high-speed rail plan any different? If they want someone’s land, pay them what it takes to get them to sell it to you. If the price gets too high, make other plans. That is what it means for it to be “their land.”

The desires of the many do not outweigh the rights of the individual, no matter how numerous the “many” or popular their desires.

 

Read the editorial piece by Mr. Huffines here:

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/04/13/perfectly-appropriate-allow-private-railroad-use-eminent-domain

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Current Legislature Bills

For the past few weeks, the Libertarian Party of Dallas County has been working to evaluate bills currently being proposed in Austin for passage state-wide. We have reviewed several important bills which we believe can be supported by libertarians (and several which we should oppose). The link to our new web page with this information is below.

Current Legislature Bills

If you feel inclined, please use this information to speak to your state senators and representatives to either support or oppose those bills which are of interest to you. Various bills are at various stages of progress, so depending on where each bill is, you may wish to contact a different person (Senator, Representative, or committee member). If you need help with this process, we will certainly be glad to assist you.

Discover who represents you in Austin at the link below.

Who Represents Me?

Thanks, activists!!

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Freedom Makes People Happy

The 2017 World Happiness Report tests the effect of six factors on happiness.

Looking at the data, perceived freedom to make life choices appears to be the second most influential factor, just behind social support.

Freedom makes people happy!

See the full report here:

http://worldhappiness.report/

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March 2017 LPDC Newsletter!!

Enjoy the March 2017 edition of the Libertarian Party of Dallas County newsletter! Yeah!

As always, thanks to all authors who contributed, and to the proofreader!

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