Although Congress set aside $8 million in 2006 to be spent on DNA testing in cases in which it could overturn a wrongful conviction, not a penny has been spent, according to a report today in USA Today. The funding can be provided to states that certify that biological evidence is being preserved for future testing statewide. Only three states have applied for the funds, and at least one – Arizona – has been rejected.
"DNA evidence is such a powerful tool in proving guilt or innocence that it's inexcusable not to use it," says Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chief sponsor of a bill to provide more funding for what is known as innocence testing.
Read the full article here
. (USA Today, 10/11/07)
View a map of states that require evidence preservation
in at least some crime categories.
Learn more about the
Innocence Project’s recommendations on evidence preservation
, and read a major
Denver Post series
on preservation issues nationwide.