Below are the stories on criminal justice reform, wrongful convictions and forensic science that we didn’t get to on the blog this week:
Crime lab reform, investigations and funding were in the news this week. The
Houston Police Department Crime Lab resumed DNA testing
after a six month suspension due to discovery of misconduct. A new Michigan State Police budget set aside
$1 million for crime labs
to ease backlogs across the state, outsourcing to private labs has helped Florida’s state lab
cut its backlog in half since 2005
, and a Wisconsin state lab has added two dozen analysts and tripled its space to decrease backlogs.
The U.S. Supreme Court had a busy week on criminal justice issues, issuing a decision in
Kennedy v. Louisiana
overturning state laws that allow the death penalty for child rape, and in
Indiana V. Edwards
, in which the justices decided 7-2 that mentally ill inmates can be denied the right to represent themselves at trial.
An Indiana judge
denied DNA testing access to Roosevelt Glenn
, who has been in prison for nearly two decades for a rape he says he didn’t commit. Glenn is represented by the attorneys at the Indiana University School of Law’s wrongful conviction clinic.
South Carolina legislators
approved a bill to allow prisoners claiming innocence to seek DNA testing through the courts
. The bill will now go to the governor – who could sign it into law or veto it. If the bill becomes a law, South Carolina will be the 44th state with a DNA access statute.