News 06.19.09

Friday Roundup: The Struggle for DNA Access

The big news in the innocence movement this week came from Washington, D.C., yesterday, where the U.S. Supreme Court denied Innocence Project client William Osborne access to the DNA testing that could prove his innocence. (

The Innocence Project’s comment on the case is here

and the

full Supreme Court opinion is here

).

The impact of yesterday’s decision will be limited, however, because most prisoners obtain access to DNA testing at the state level. Osborne’s case is an example of one in which DNA access at the state level is difficult, and Kenneth Reed’s is another.


A prestigious group of DNA and legal experts filed a brief this week in a Louisiana appeals court backing a judge’s decision to grant DNA testing in Reed’s case

. Reed, an Innocence Project client, was sentenced to life for a 1991 Louisiana rape he says he didn’t commit and he is seeking DNA testing that could prove his innocence.

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear the case of

a former Ohio police officer seeking DNA testing to prove his innocence

.

A Missouri man convicted of a 2005 murder he says he didn’t commit was

denied a new trial this week

.


The family of Texas exoneree Timothy Cole is hoping state legislators will return for a special session

to review a bill allowing Gov. Rick Perry to issue Cole a posthumous pardon.

The Dallas Morning News crime blog ran a

Q&A this week with public defender Michelle Moore

, who has represented seven of 20 people cleared through DNA testing in Dallas.

A man who spent 17 years in prison in Japan for a murder evidence shows he didn’t commit

visited his hometown this week and received an apology from the police chief

.

‘‘I apologize from the bottom of my heart for imposing on you this hardship for such a long time,’’ the chief told 62-year-old Toshikazu Sugaya.

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