Robert Breest, who has served 35 years in a New Hampshire prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit, will get another round of DNA testing, after Breest’s attorneys reached a deal with prosecutors this month. Several rounds of DNA testing in the case have been inconclusive, but Breest’s attorneys are seeking to employ new, more sensitive, Y-STR testing on evidence from the victim’s fingernails.
Breest was convicted based on blood-type evidence showing that 10% of white men, including Breest, could have contributed physical evidence found at the scene. Also used against Breest at trial was a jailhouse informant and expert testimony that paint chips from the crime scene matched Breest’s car. Unreliable and limited science like blood-type testing and paint chip comparison – along with snitch testimony – have contributed to dozens of wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA testing.
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. (Concord Monitor, 02/29/08)
Attorney Albert Scherr is representing Breest pro-bono in his state claims in affiliation with the New England Innocence Project.The Innocence Project is working with attorney Ian Dumain (a former Innocence Project clinic student while at Cardozo Law School) of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP on Breest’s claim to DNA testing in federal court. In January, a federal judge denied the state’s motion to dismiss Breest’s claim to DNA testing.
Read the judge’s order here