News 01.27.10

Pennsylvania Man Seeks DNA Testing

Scott Oliver has spent two decades in Pennsylvania prisons for a rape and murder that he has always maintained he didn't commit, and new DNA test results obtained by the Innocence Project provide strong evidence that he’s telling the truth.

The Innocence Project filed a motion in a Pennsylvania court this month revealing the new test results, which show DNA from a man other than Oliver, and seeking additional tests that could resolve any doubts about Oliver's innocence. Prosecutors have agreed to allow DNA testing to go forward, and the Innocence Project will pay for the tests at a private laboratory.

Oliver was convicted in 1991 of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl. His conviction was based in part on a two-page confession he signed following a police interrogation. He later said he signed the papers without reading them after being forced to do so by a police officer. The interrogation was not recorded.

Ten people have been exonerated through DNA testing in Pennsylvania – four of whom gave false confessions or admissions to crimes they did not commit. The Pennsylvania Innocence Project has joined the Innocence Project in representing Oliver.

Watch a video interview about the case with Pennsylvania Innocence Project Legal Director Marissa Bluestine here

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