Nebraska’s highest court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in the cases of Thomas Winslow and Joseph White, who were convicted of killing a 68-year-old woman in 1985. Winslow pled guilty and was sentenced to 10 to 50 years, while White went to trial and received a life sentence. The men say that DNA testing on evidence from the crime scene can prove their innocence, but the state is opposing their request for testing, partly because Winslow pled guilty.
The state’s highest court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in the case. Lower courts have denied the men access to testing. Innocence Project Staff Attorney Alba Morales said that 25% of the 207 people who have been exonerated through DNA testing admitted to crimes they did not commit (including 10 people who pled guilty to crimes only to later be exonerated by DNA evidence). These exonerations show that innocent people sometimes admit guilt and plead guilty, for a variety of reasons – and that DNA testing should not be denied based on a guilty plea.
High court to decide if conviction means no right to DNA tests
(Associated Press, 09/05/07)