An editorial in Wednesday’s edition of Florida’s News-Press underscored the value of mandatory DNA testing in cases where the death penalty or lengthy prison sentences are a factor.
Though Florida law enforcement officials collect DNA samples from crime scenes, prisoners usually face an uphill battle for DNA testing. James Bain, who was finally released from prison after serving 35 years on death row for a crime DNA proves he didn’t commit, was turned down five times before a judge ordered DNA testing in his case.
Seth Miller, Executive Director of the Florida Innocence Project said that the price for testing can sometimes cost several thousands of dollars. “But we should be willing to pay what it costs to find who committed a serious crime and who did not,” he said.
There have been
13 DNA exonerations
in Florida. And, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, Florida leads the nation with
23 people cleared from death row
based on evidence of innocence (DNA or non-DNA).