News 08.21.07

Hearing Thursday on lost evidence in death row case

Prosecutors in a Kentucky death row case have said they are not able to find crucial evidence that was alleged to place the defendant, Brian Keith Moore, at the crime scene. Moore has said that he was framed by the actual perpetrator and has been granted access to DNA testing in order to determine whether clothing found at the scene belong to the alternate suspect – who has since died.

In legal papers filed in 2006, prosecutors said pants and shoes from the crime scene were available for testing. But now, they say they can’t find the evidence – and defense attorneys are asking a judge to overturn Moore’s death sentence. A hearing in the matter is scheduled for Thursday. Although the Innocence Project is not involved in the Moore case, Staff Attorney Vanessa Potkin discusses evidence preservation in an article in today’s Lexington Herald-Leader:

Old evidence was found after multiple searches in recent cases in Virginia, New Jersey and New York, Potkin said. In the New York case, Alan Newton waited 11 years for a rape kit to be located and was released in 2006 after serving 21 years of a 40-year sentence.

Maryland's highest court last week ordered prosecutors to keep searching for evidence that could be tested in a 33-year-old murder.

"Evidence just doesn't disappear," Potkin said. "You really need to be diligent. In this case, the significance could be life or death."


Read the full story here

. (Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/21/07)

A major

Denver Post investigation

last month revealed shoddy evidence preservation standards in police departments and prosecutor’s offices around the country, and a

Maryland court ruled

last week that prosecutors must search more widely for evidence before reporting it missing.

Read more about

evidence preservation

in our Fix the System section.

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