A 1986 graduate of the Wayne State University Law School, Mary DuFour Morrow served as an assistant prosecuting attorney with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for nearly 28 years where she handled hundreds of felony cases at trial and on appeal. During her tenure with Wayne County, Morrow also developed and directed the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program where she prosecuted recalcitrant landlords who knowingly rented lead-infested properties to families with children. Under her direction, lead-based paint hazards were remediated in nearly three hundred rental properties. In 2008, Morrow was the recipient of the prestigious "Champion of Justice" award from the State Bar of Michigan.
In 2010, Morrow was appointed Project Director of the National Institute of Justice Detroit Sexual Assault Kit Action Research Project. She oversaw a three-year National Institute of Justice Sexual Assault Kit Action Research Project with researchers from Michigan State University. The project examined over 11,000 untested rape kits that were found in Detroit Police Department property storage in 2009. Many of the kits were more than 25 years old. The project was charged with determining: why the kits were never submitted for testing; how best to resolve the kits; and how to prevent rape kits from stockpiling, untested, in the future.
During the project, Morrow coordinated and built a collaborative partnership with representatives from ten academic, government, and nonprofit agencies including: Michigan State University; Michigan State Police; Detroit Police Department; Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan; Michigan Domestic & Sexual Violence Prevention & Treatment Board; Wayne County Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners; Joyful Heart Foundation; YWCA Interim House; Detroit Police Victims’ Assistance Program; and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
The partnership met bi-monthly for three years and culminated with the: (1) submission and testing of all rape kits; (2) enactment of new state legislation requiring that all current and future rape kits released to law enforcement in Michigan be submitted for testing; (3) development of model policies and procedures pertaining to victim notification and the adjudication of sexual assault cases; and (4) publication of Michigan State University Professor Rebecca Campbell’s comprehensive report on research findings from the project.
As part of the project, Morrow negotiated an innovative partnership with United Parcel Service (UPS) to pilot a one-year project that electronically tracked all rape kits collected in the city of Detroit from the point of collection through submission for DNA analysis and prosecution. Under Morrow’s direction, the “Enough SAID” (Enough Sexual Assault in Detroit) campaign was also created, which is dedicated to securing funding to support the investigation of evidentiary leads identified through DNA testing and the prosecution of sexual assault cold cases. She has worked with End Violence Against Women International and contributed to its recent publication, “Laboratory Analysis of Biological Evidence and the Role of DNA in Sexual Assault Investigations.”