News 03.18.08

DA says Colorado prisoner shouldn’t get a new trial despite destroyed evidence

Last week, Colorado lawmakers introduced a bill to grant new trials to inmates when evidence in their cases was destroyed despite court orders to preserve it. The bill has drawn broad bipartisan support, and is expected to pass. Along with the bill, one lawmaker has made the case for a new trial for a specific prisoner, Clarence Moses-El, who was convicted more than two decades ago of a Denver murder and has sought DNA testing to prove his innocence. Those tests can’t be done, however, because Denver police destroyed evidence in the case after a judge ordered them to preserve it for possible DNA testing.

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrisey said Friday that he had received a lawmaker’s request regarding Moses-El but that he doesn’t plan to pursue a new trial in the case.

“There is absolutely no indication, based on the totality of all the evidence and the thorough review conducted by myself and numerous judicial officials, that a new trial would result in any different outcome,” Morrisey said in a letter responding to Sen. Ken Gordon, D-Denver.

Last Saturday, Gordon hand delivered a letter to Morrisey, with a request for a new trial for Moses-El or some other relief because the DNA evidence in the case was destroyed by Denver police after a judge’s ordered it preserved.


Read more here

. (Colorado Rocky Mountain News, 03/15/08)


Read Friday’s blog post about the bill in Colorado’s legislature

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