New law could help wrongfully convicted - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

New law could help wrongfully convicted

A new law in Texas could help those behind bars that have been wrongfully convicted.

Since 1989, 54 inmates have been exonerated based on DNA test results.

This success helped enact legislation that requires testing on evidence in death penalty cases starting September 1st.

But the fear is that this new law will create a backlog and long wait time for results.

For some counties, it could take up to six months or longer.

In rural communities additional testing could even delay trials or work on other cases.

Prosecutors agree that testing to verify the identity of a killer is worth the time and expense but in some instances could be used to try to delay a conviction.

The Texas Defender Service, which represents death row inmates, says the law would also help prevent "tunnel vision."

That's where investigators hone in on one suspect and inadvertently ignore evidence that could implicate others.

 

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