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THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY YEARBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE 2016$
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Giuliana Ziccardi Capaldo

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190848194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190848194.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 08 April 2020

Post-Conviction DNA Testing, Actual Innocence, and Cold Cases

Post-Conviction DNA Testing, Actual Innocence, and Cold Cases

A Practitioner’s Guide to Freeing the Innocent, Exhuming the Past, and Resurrecting the Truth—Making a Case for Seeking Justice over Finality

Chapter:
(p.15) Post-Conviction DNA Testing, Actual Innocence, and Cold Cases
Source:
THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY YEARBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE 2016
Author(s):

Steven W. Becker

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190848194.003.0002

The article addresses the dramatic impact that post-conviction DNA testing has had on the criminal justice system in the United States, not only in effecting the release of innocent prisoners who have been wrongfully convicted but also with respect to the perception of the court system itself in terms of the seeming tension between seeking justice and honoring the finality of judgments. An overview of post-conviction DNA testing statutes in the United States is provided, including a description of the elements generally required to secure such testing, a survey and comparison of various provisions in state statutes, and a brief treatment of innocence projects. The article concludes with a detailed discussion of three DNA cases personally litigated by the author—two criminal cases, one involving a murder and the other a rape, and one forty-year-old cold case—with the purpose of providing real-life guidance from a practitioner’s perspective.

Keywords:   actual innocence, cold case, DNA testing, exhumation, finality, justice, post-conviction

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