With the recent rise of the Innocence Movement, many traditional police tools for evaluating forensic evidence have been called into question. Increasingly, science has proven that certain outdated forensic analyses are unreliable or invalid, shedding light on how these faulty analyses have contributed to numerous unjust convictions of innocent people. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) technology, a subset of forensic analysis, has performed the counterpoint to this trend by exonerating many wrongfully convicted individuals. Access to DNA testing, however, is inconsistent from state to state. Massachusetts’s new 278A motion is a strong model for the correct implementation of a statute providing post-conviction access to DNA testing. States such as Pennsylvania, which has a plethora of barriers to post-conviction relief through DNA testing, should look to Massachusetts’s 278A statute as an example on which to base updated post-conviction statutes in order to provide the necessary justice to those who have been wrongfully convicted.
Post-Conviction Access to DNA Testing: Why Massachusetts’s 278A Statute Should Be the Model for the Future,
B.C.J.L. & Soc. Just.