It has been nearly 20 years since the first DNA exoneration, and seven states still have no law allowing prisoners to seek post-conviction DNA testing that can prove their innocence. But the tide is turning in at least two of those states. Last week, Wyoming’s governor signed a bill granting DNA testing access to some prisoners, and the law will go into effect this summer.
And today in the South Carolina legislature, Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck testified in support of a bill that would allow prisoners to apply for DNA testing if it could potentially prove their innocence.
“This kind of legislation has demonstrated again and again that it doesn’t just protect the innocent, it helps law enforcement identify the person who really committed the crime — often somebody who is a serial rapist or a serial murderer,” said Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project, which is based in New York. “South Carolina knows this law is long overdue.”
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(Associated Press, 03/18/2008)
Innocence Project Policy Analyst Rebecca Brown will testify today in the Colorado legislature on a bill including preservation of biological evidence from crime scenes, and Policy Director Stephen Saloom will testify tomorrow on an eyewitness identification reform package before the Connecticut legislature.