An editorial in today’s Boston Globe calls on Massachusetts to join 46 other states by passing a law ensuring access to post-conviction DNA testing in cases where it can prove innocence. Already this year, two states (South Dakota and Mississippi) have passed new laws providing DNA access in some cases. Only Massachusetts, Alabama, Alaska and Oklahoma still lack this critical protection.
Using DNA tests to double-check convictions is not just about releasing the innocent. Opening old cases may hurt some victims who desire a sense of closure, but in dozens of cases DNA testing has not only exonerated the innocent but also identified the true perpetrator.
DNA testing would assure the safety of Massachusetts residents in two ways: by putting more real criminals behind bars, and by protecting the innocent from wrongful imprisonment by the state.
Read the full editorial here
. (Boston Globe, 5/26/09)