News 01.31.08

Ohio investigative series identifies 30 inmates in need of DNA tests

The final stories in a five-day investigative report by the Columbus Dispatch ran today, and the results are being felt across the country. Today’s story focuses on 30 prisoners identified by the newspaper and the Ohio Innocence Project as candidates for DNA testing that could overturn their convictions if it proves innocence. Public defenders and attorneys at the Ohio Innocence Project began today to file appeals for testing in the cases of the 30 prisoners. And an Ohio lab, DNA Diagnostics Center, will perform any approved testing for free.

The Dispatch, as part of a yearlong investigation, gathered public records and built files on the 313 cases in which Ohio prisoners applied for a DNA test under an old law, which stymied nearly everyone. Advocates hope that modest changes to the law in 2006 have created new opportunities for them.

Through consultation with the Ohio Innocence Project, a legal clinic based at the University of Cincinnati, The Dispatch identified prospects for testing.

This week’s series covered the cases of inmates unable to secure DNA testing, others whose evidence is lost, others who were released but remain labeled as sex offenders, and drew important feedback from the Ohio Governor and others.

Read the stories, watch videos and learn more here.

 

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