A five-part investigation published in January by the Columbus Post-Dispatch explored the cases of 30 Ohio inmates considered by the newspaper to be “prime candidates for DNA testing.” Now, seven of those inmates will receive DNA testing. All of them had either been denied testing in the past or granted testing that never took place. The inmates are represented by the Ohio Innocence Project and the Ohio Public Defenders Office, and a Cincinnati-area lab has offered to conduct testing pro-bono.
And the momentum brought about by these investigations has also sparked reforms in Ohio, including a proposed bill to expand access to DNA testing for people convicted of crimes.
A bipartisan effort to change state laws would expand DNA testing eligibility, require evidence to be preserved and set statewide standards for police lineups.
"I can think of no worse fate than to be an innocent person in one of our state prisons," said state Sen. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican who has been working with former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro on crafting a bill.
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. (Columbus Dispatch, 03/16/08)