An editorial in Saturday's Cleveland Plain Dealer calls on state lawmakers to pass a measure in 2008 requiring that biological evidence from crime scenes be preserved to allow inmates to seek post-conviction DNA testing. The editorial also calls on courts and prosecutors to support testing when it can prove innocence. Of 315 people who have applied for DNA testing in Ohio in the last four years, only 19 have received tests. Missing evidence is often a reason for the rejection, but prosecutors sometimes also oppose testing on legal grounds.
Ryan Miday, a spokesman for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason, recalled officials fetching a box of evidence from the leaky attic of a local police department. It was ruined, as was the chance to prove someone's guilt or innocence.
Such sloppy handling mattered less in the days before DNA testing. Now it's practically criminal – and the Ohio General Assembly should put a stop to it.
Read the full editorial here
. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 12/29/07)
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