Eyewitness Identification Reform

Iowa has no eyewitness identification reform policy.

Recording of Interrogations

State v. Hajtic held that the court “believe[s] electronic recording, particularly videotaping, of custodial interrogations should be encouraged, and we take this opportunity to do so.” State v. Hajtic, 724 N.W.2d 449, 456 (Iowa 2006). There is no due process or supervisory power ground for the courts statement; this is a mere recommendation by the judiciary that recording of custodial interrogations should be encouraged.

Read State v. Hajtic (2006)

Post Conviction DNA Testing

A defendant who has been convicted of a felony and who has not been required to submit a DNA sample for DNA profiling can make a motion for the post-conviction DNA testing to the court where he/she was convicted.

In 2019, Iowa amended its post-conviction DNA testing law to: remove a time bar to eligibility for people convicted after 2005, expand eligibility to all people convicted of felonies and aggravated misdemeanors regardless of the date of their conviction, allow testing on evidence regardless of whether testing was done at trial and if newer technology can yield more probative results, and allow for unknown DNA profiles to be compared in law enforcement DNA databases.

Effective: 2005. Amended most recently: 2019.

Read the statute

Evidence Preservation

State statute requires that all DNA evidence be preserved for criminal actions. The evidence must be preserved by a criminal or juvenile justice agency for a period of three years. Effective: 2005. Amended most recently: 2014.

Iowa's statute does NOT meet the best practices standards outlined by the NIST Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation.

Read the statute

Exoneree Compensation

As long as the wrongfully convicted person did not plead guilty, he/she is eligible for $50 per day of wrongful incarceration plus lost wages up to $25,000 a year, plus attorney's fees.

Effective: 1997

Read the statute

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