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“Just do the test”

Grits points to this NYT article about the next phase of the battle between prosecutors and inmates over innocence claims and DNA testing. I agree with Grits – if some defendants are embarking on fishing expeditions, I say let them fish. It’s not like the state never does that, and all it takes is one successful result to justify the practice. The cost can be on the claimant in a contested case if he doesn’t have a court order, with the proviso that a result which proves innocence, or at least gets a conviction overturned, can be used to get reimbursement. We’ve seen way too many innocent men go free, often as the article notes too late to do anything about the real criminal, to continue to play these petty little games. Given that we’re unlikely to see a widespread change in attitude among the prosecutorial class, and given the general level of indifference shown to innocence claims by various federal appeals courts and SCOTUS, perhaps federal legislation is needed to make this happen. Maybe Sen. Webb can put that on his to-do list.

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