DNA is a powerful scientific tool for proving guilt or innocence, but barriers throughout the criminal justice system are preventing this tool from being used effectively.

Increasing Access to Post-Conviction DNA Testing: A Policy Review is a new publication from The Justice Project designed to foster a dialogue among policy makers and to help states implement better DNA testing procedures and practices. This policy review provides an overview of problems with current post-conviction DNA testing laws, offers solutions to these problems, profiles cases of injustice, highlights states with good laws and policies for DNA testing, and includes a model policy.

As TJP President John Terzano wrote on The Huffington Post, “The sad truth is that it often takes a series of miracles to gain access to post-conviction DNA testing. … Our criminal justice system is too fraught with error to rely on miracles to find the truth. Post-conviction DNA testing serves the interests of fairness, accuracy and public confidence in the criminal justice system, and states should make every effort to facilitate testing for defendants claiming innocence.”

You can read Terzano’s blog post and learn about post-conviction DNA testing here.

Research on the exonerations of innocent people has identified many of the primary causes of wrongful convictions. Based on these findings, The Justice Project has constructed a national agenda for reform designed to eliminate common, preventable errors that undermine the fairness and accuracy of our criminal justice system. Increasing access to post-conviction DNA testing is one of TJP’s eight initiatives for criminal justice reform.