News 10.03.08

Deadline for DNA access nears in Michigan

Unless the Michigan State Senate acts quickly, innocent prisoners in Michigan may lose their last chance for freedom.

Michigan is one of 43 states with a law allowing post-conviction DNA testing if it can prove innocence, but that law expires on January 1, 2009. A bill to extend that deadline passed the House, but has languished for months in the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. With Michigan's legislative session ending on Dec 4th, the Senate must act immediately to protect justice in the state.

“Unless the State Senate makes this bill a priority, innocent people will remain in prison while actual perpetrators of crime remain at large,” said Professor Donna McKneelen, Co-Director of the Cooley Innocence Project, which investigates wrongful conviction cases across Michigan. “There is no reason to put an arbitrary expiration date on a law that can resolve claims of innocence, particularly when our office continues to receive new cases every day.”


Read the full press release from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Innocence Project in Lansing

.


How you can get involved:

If you live in Michigan,

send an email right now

to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urging them to act in the interest of justice.

If you live outside of Michigan,

invite your friends in Michigan to contact their Senators here

.


Sign our petition for nationwide DNA access laws

.



Learn more about this issue:


Read news coverage

of the Michigan bill on the Innocence Blog


Watch a video

with Michigan exoneree Ken Wyniemko.


Read about the other Michigan DNA exonerees

.

Learn about the Innocence Project’s recommendations for

post-conviction DNA access laws nationwide

.


Does your state have a DNA access law?

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