Sunday, January 27, 2008

Report: Ohio Inmate DNA Testing Flawed

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio's DNA testing program for inmates seeking to prove their innocence is deeply flawed, with police routinely discarding evidence after trials and court-ordered tests never getting done, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Judges also ignore requests for DNA testing, leaving inmates in legal limbo, and nearly a third of the denials examined by The Columbus Dispatch failed to cite a specific reason, as required by state law. In other cases, there's no indication that anyone even read the inmate's request for DNA testing, the newspaper reported.

Gov. Ted Strickland told The Dispatch he is calling for an overhaul that would speed up the review process, open up testing to more inmates and establish statewide standards for preserving evidence.

Across the country, more than 200 inmates have been freed because of DNA tests, including six from Ohio. Four of those came before the state created a formal DNA testing program in 2003. Since then, 313 Ohio inmates have applied but only 14 tests have been done. In some cases, evidence has been lost or destroyed, the newspaper said....................

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