Inmates vs. DNA Deadline
In Florida, lawyers with the aid of law students are furiously battling a coming DNA testing deadline, after which they will not be allowed testing to prove their innocence.
Meanwhile, Barry Scheck, cofounder of the The Innocence Project at Cardozo Law School in New York, is trying to line up support from lawyers around the state to find a way to lift the ''arbitrary deadline,'' established by the Legislature two years ago.
He characterizes the situation as a looming miscarriage of justice for possibly hundreds of inmates who could be cheated out of the chance the law was designed to provide.
Under the law, passed in 2001 and sponsored by Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, anyone convicted of a crime has two years after a sentence becomes final to ask a judge to review DNA testing of physical evidence. Those convicted before the Villalobos law went into effect have until Oct. 1 to file their petitions.
Villalobos is willing to consider extending the deadline, but Florida Governor Jeb Bush is not.
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