News 04.04.17

Judge Orders DNA Testing for Nebraska Innocence Project Client As Result of Improved Law

By Michelle Feldman

The Omaha World-Herald reported on April 3rd that a judge has ordered DNA testing for Nebraska Innocence Project client Antoine Young. The 43-year-old Omaha man was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing a man during a 2007 drive-by shooting.

Previously, courts denied DNA testing for Young because the Nebraska law required a defendant to prove the technology was unavailable during his or her original trial, and his attorney failed to request the procedure even though it was common at the time. In 2015 the Innocence Project worked with the Nebraska Innocence Project and the Nebraska legislature to remove this requirement from the law, paving the way for the judge’s order for testing of bullet casings and a shirt.

All 50 states now have post-conviction DNA testing laws, and the Innocence Project is working to improve them so that wrongfully convicted people throughout the country have meaningful access. Everyone benefits from improved laws because post-conviction DNA testing can help prove innocence, reveal the person who actually committed the crime and confirm convictions.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine agreed to allow the DNA tests without an appeal, saying “We’re confident in our conviction, and we don’t think there’s any issue. So why not clear the air?”

Read the article here.

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