Innocence network organizations secured 29 exonerations last year, and now states across the country are introducing legislation to prevent wrongful convictions and grant greater access to biological evidence, reported USA Today.
Massachusetts and Oklahoma are the only states without a law that provides the right to post-conviction DNA testing, but if Massachusetts passes legislation that was introduced earlier this year, Oklahoma will become the lone state without this vital innocence reform.
“We are seeing tremendous receptivity across the country to the fact that biological evidence needs to be preserved to assess claims of wrongful convictions and to solve the thousands and thousands of cold cases that can be aided by DNA testing years after the crimes are committed,” Stephen Saloom, Innocence Project policy director says.
North Carolina is one of several states that have created a justice commission to prevent wrongful convictions. It investigates post-conviction claims of factual innocence.
Florida, California, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have established similar commissions that study the causes of wrongful convictions and makes recommendations to lawmakers, police and the courts.