Monday, September 22, 2003

DNA Testing of Prisoners
In My Local Paper yesterday former FBI Director William S. Sessions wrote a strong call for post-conviction DNA testing. He said
"There are always reasons -- time, money, bureaucratic obstacles -- that something cannot be done. But when it comes to justice and fairness, those reasons are just excuses. Prosecutors not only have a professional duty to seek the truth, they have a moral responsibility to respond to the DNA no-match rate. Just as pretrial DNA testing has illuminated the unexpected frequency with which police and prosecutors have targeted the wrong person, post-conviction testing in cases that were tried 15 or more years ago -- before the availability of forensic DNA -- can exonerate those wrongly convicted, and can possibly identify the true perpetrator and shed light on the causes of the wrongful conviction."
"During my time as a federal judge in Texas and as FBI director, I had contact with prosecutors and law enforcement officials who are among the best anywhere, working together in a criminal justice system that is the model for countries around the world. But we can -- and must -- do better. Given the stakes involved, we cannot deny defendants a right to post-conviction DNA testing."

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