Last week, the South Carolina legislature passed a bill allowing prisoners to seek DNA testing when it could prove their innocence. The bill was coupled, however, with another that would collect DNA samples from people who are arrested for crimes but never convicted. Gov. Mark Sanford, citing civil liberties concerns about the database expansion, vetoed the bill today, as he vetoed a similar bill last year. The legislature may vote to override the veto.
In an Associated Press article yesterday, Innocence Project Policy Director Stephen Saloom said the pairing of the bills was unfortunate. Access to DNA testing is a critical reform to overturn wrongful convictions, and it should not have been tied to the database bill.
Read the full article
. (Associated Press, 07/01/2008)
Wyoming yesterday became the 43rd state with a DNA access law, when its new guidelines took effect.
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