In a 5-4 decision last week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied DNA testing access to Innocence Project client William Osborne, ruling that the finality of a conviction is more important than making sure the right person was convicted.
The disagreement from the press and the public was swift and strong.
The New York Times
called the ruling “appalling.”
The Washington Post
said “access to DNA evidence should not be based on the luck of the draw.”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
called the decision a “devastating setback for prisoners.” The
Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger
added: “In its ruling the court made clear it cares more about procedure than making certain the right person has been convicted.”
Political strategist Robert Creamer
wrote today on the Huffington Post
that “in the view of the majority of the court, justice and due process are irrelevant.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued
separating the decision from the interest of fair justice. “Today’s decision is limited: the Court merely spoke about what is constitutional, not what is good policy,” Holder said. “This administration believes that defendants should be permitted access to DNA evidence in a range of circumstances.”
Discussion boards and social networks have been active with discussion of the decision, as well. Several commenters on the
Innocence Project Facebook Page
expressed dismay with the decision, and hundreds of people have
criticized the decision on twitter
The Innocence Project is now more determined than ever to pass DNA access laws in the three states that lack them (Alaska, Massachusetts and Oklahoma). DNA access statutes in other states, like Alabama and Kentucky, are in desperate need of improvement.
Join our call for fair justice today by signing the petition for DNA access