In an op-ed in
on Wednesday, Kirk Bloodsworth, the first death row inmate to be exonerated by DNA evidence in the United States, called for congress to support initiatives to fund DNA testing, support crime labs and enable forensic science programs.
Bloodsworth urged lawmakers to immediately reauthorize the Justice for All Act, which would reinstate two essential innocence programs: the Kirk Bloodsworth Post-Conviction DNA Testing Program, which provides funding for states to conduct post-conviction DNA testing, and the Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program, which helps support the work of state and local crime laboratories and medical examiner offices through federal funding.
The 1993 exoneree also asked congress to fund forensic science programs like the Justice Department’s Wrongful Conviction Review Program which provides small grants to local innocence organizations to help support their efforts in investigating, litigating and solving wrongful conviction cases.
“No one should ever have to experience a wrongful conviction. It is horrific, lonely and at times feels hopeless,” Bloodsworth wrote. “For these reasons, I urge Congress to provide states, innocence organizations, other allies and stakeholders with the necessary tools to prevent, reveal and remediate wrongful convictions and ensure justice.”
Read the full op-ed