“The DNA Testing Act gives inmates access to evolving scientific technology, but it was not intended to allow an inmate a second chance to perform DNA testing which was available at trial.”
That’s Nebraska Supreme Court Judge Michael McCormack, writing for the court in a decision to deny an inmate’s request for DNA testing of evidence in a 2007 murder for which the inmate is serving life in prison.
So … rather than allowing a couple of tests that will help determine whether or not Antoine Young committed the murder for which he’s serving life in prison, the Nebraska Supreme Court is arguing that he should have asked for the tests back in 2008.
They’re right: His lawyer should have done so. But if the DNA Testing Act can’t account for mistakes made by lawyers, and potentially keeps innocent men in prison because of those mistakes, there’s a problem with the law.
As for Young, maybe he’s innocent, maybe he’s guilty … but it doesn’t much matter to the judges. Their job isn’t to make sure an inmate has access to any evidence that might raise doubts about his guilt; their job is just to determine whether or not the state, which has an interest in not considering any more evidence in this case, is following the law as it avoids doing so.
(Source: omaha.com, via kohenari)