Thursday, March 31, 2005

Post-conviction DNA testing

The legislature has enacted a law that makes available DNA testing to people convicted of felonies and serving time, under certain conditions: (a) DNA tests were excluded or the technology was inadequate at the time of the trial and (b) DNA evidence is material to the identity of the perpetrator of the crime (or to the identity of an accomplice or to sentence enhancement). SHB 1014, 2005 Laws chp. 5 (March 9, 2005)

The bill had broad support -- in fact, it passed both the House and the Senate unanimously. Supporters in hearings included representatives from the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Office of Public Defense. Prof. Jackie McMurtrie, from the UW's Innocence Project Northwest, also testified.

Speaking of DNA, the Law Library just received a new book:
DNA and the Criminal Justice System: The Technology of Justice, edited by David Lazer. The publisher's description includes the table of contents.

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