News 02.27.09

Osborne Case Draws Near

Oral arguments are scheduled for Monday in the case of District Attorney’s Office vs. William Osborne. Innocence Project Co-Director Peter Neufeld will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court that prisoners have a constitutional right to DNA testing when it can prove their innocence. We’ll update the case here – and on

twitter

– as we have details on Monday. For more background on Osborne,

get briefs, press releases, media coverage and more on the case here

.

Yesterday, exonerees and others whose lives were directly affected by wrongful conviction came together in Washington, D.C., to discuss the case and the importance of DNA testing.

Watch a video of the event here

. Today, Louisiana exoneree Rickie Johnson spoke to students about the case at

a Virginia High School’s Case Day

.

And legal experts from across the country continued this week to speak out on Osborne’s behalf. In today’s New York Daily News, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Mogenthau wrote that

Alaska prosecutors have no logical reason for failing to grant Osborne a DNA test

.

When a defendant who has always protested innocence will pay for a test that will resolve that protest one way or the other, only stubbornness can explain denying him access to the evidence. What can Alaska be afraid of – finding that it has imprisoned the wrong man?

Attorney David C. Fathi

writes in today’s Huffington Post

that he strongly disagrees with the choice by the Obama administration to proceed with the brief filed under Bush that argues against the right to DNA testing.

The Bush administration argued in its brief — now effectively adopted by the Obama administration — that the decision about whether to allow DNA testing should be left up to the states as part of a "vibrant democratic process." But some things shouldn't be put up for a vote — and the liberty of a possibly innocent person is one of them.

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