Colorado DA's To Use Grants to For DNA Testing of Possible Wrongful Convictions
Some welcome news to report on DNA testing in innocence claims:
Funded by a $1.2 million federal grant and using the latest DNA technology, Colorado prosecutors hope to review as many as 5,000 rape, murder and manslaughter convictions in the next 18 months to determine whether any inmates currently in Colorado prisons were unjustly convicted.
....Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said they, along with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and law students, will conduct a "systematic review" of cases where defendants may have been unjustly convicted, using DNA testing as a critical component in the review.
This is what should have been accomplished through the Innocence Protection Act when it passed in 2004. Instead, it got watered down at the end so that most of the money for DNA testing went to testing old rape kits to find the perps instead of for inmates with credible innocence claims.
Denver DA Mitch Morrissey and AG John Suthers are to be commended for getting their focus right:
"It is going to be the person who says, 'I got convicted and I'm innocent. I'm not the person that did this.' Those are the individuals we are going to be looking for in this project," Morrissey said.
And, for once, defense lawyers will be included:
Suthers said that in addition to working with the Denver district attorney's office, he will work with several other organizations, including the University of Denver College of Law, the CBI and the Colorado Public Defender's Office. The organizations will help run the program and select which cases will be reviewed.
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