Saturday, June 20, 2009

AG Holder: DNA Evidence Can Exonerate the Wrongfully Charged

day after the Supreme Court ruled defendants have no constitutional right to a review of DNA evidence in post-conviction proceedings, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. underscored the Justice Department position that seeks to expand access to DNA evidence in the courts.
The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times : AG Holder: DNA Evidence Can Exonerate the Wrongfully Charged, June 19, 2009. The prepared text of Holder's speech is here. The BLT goes on:
Holder issued a statement in response to the Supreme Court 5-4 decision in District Attorney's Office for the Third Judicial District v. Osborne that said, in part: “Constitutional rights are only one part of a fair and full system of justice. Simply because a course of action is constitutional does not make it wise.” Holder said in the statement that the Court “merely spoke about what is constitutional, not what is good policy.”
See Tony Mauro, High Court Rejects Post-Conviction DNA Access, Nat'l L.J., June 19, 2009.

The Solicitor General's amicus brief in Osborne argued against a constitutional right to DNA testing, urging a reversal of the 9th Circuit -- that is, arguing for the result the Court reached. The brief was filed in December 2008 -- that is, during the last Administration.

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