The Osborne Case: A Misguided Decision and the Path Forward
In a guest post today on the
American Constitution Society blog
, Innocence Project Staff Attorney Nina Morrison analyzes last week's Supreme Court decision on DNA access and how it will affect efforts to obtain DNA testing for prisoners seeking to overturn wrongful convictions. She writes:
In an already much-criticized decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 last week that Innocence Project client William Osborne could not use the federal civil rights law to obtain DNA testing for the purpose of proving his innocence of the rape for which he was convicted and sent to prison in 1994. The decision was disappointing and surprising given the broad national consensus about DNA testing's unprecedented capabilities to exonerate the innocent. But the court ultimately decided that principles of finality and deference to state law trumped fundamental fairness, even where scientific proof of actual innocence is concerned.
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