Related Links

Postconviction DNA Legislation & Policy
Postconviction DNA Legislation & Policy
    National Conference of State Legislatures: DNA in Criminal Justice

    This portion of the National Conference of State Legislatures website includes several charts, issue briefs, and articles about postconviction DNA policy, including charts that provide state-by-state information about DNA databases and postconviction motions. A chart on another section of the NCSL website, Comparison of State Post Conviction DNA Laws (, describes state-by-state information about who can apply for testing, who pays for testing, what evidence preservation is required, and fiscal analysis of the preservation. Postconviction Testing discusses recommendations for postconviction testing based on the role one is playing in the criminal justice system: prosecutors, the judiciary, defense counsel, law enforcement, laboratory personnel, and victims' advocates. also provides information about forensic DNA databases ( and statutes and case law on forensic DNA (

    DNA Resource

    DNA Resource is a website devoted to keeping up-to-date with the latest developments in forensic DNA policy, and offers a monthly report to that effect. It has a section on United States DNA legislation, which tracks what states have made changes or additions to their DNA legislation. The site also provides a chart of changes in state postconviction DNA legislation. Site sponsors are Applied Biosystems and Gordon Thomas Honeywell Government Affairs.

    Innocence Project: Access to Post-Conviction DNA Testing

    This Innocence Project web page discusses postconviction DNA access throughout the 50 states and identifies those states that do not provide such access. It discusses the key elements that should be included in a DNA access law, shortcomings of existing DNA access laws, and a map that links to the text of DNA statutes in the various states. The Innocence Project also has related fact sheets on postconviction DNA exonerations (, preservation of evidence (, and compensation for the wrongly convicted (

    American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics: Survey of DNA Database Statutes and Survey of Post-Conviction DNA Testing Statutes

    This part of the ASLME website provides state-by-state charts identifying DNA statutes, including who may apply for postconviction DNA testing, when and in what court may the application be made, what the application must contain, criteria for the evidence to be tested, whether the prosecutor is involved in the process, information about the hearing and review criteria, what laboratory tests the evidence, oversight of testing, costs, right to counsel, and right to appeal. The charts are available in HTML, PDF, and Excel formats.

    National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers: State Legislation: DNA Databases, Evidence and Post-Conviction Testing Resources

    This portion of the NACDL website provides links to information about DNA databases and postconviction testing resources, including fact sheets, endorsements and resolutions, model legislation, state legislation, reports and audits, law review and journal articles, media coverage, and other links. The media page includes links to newspaper articles about state DNA and postconviction DNA testing.

    American Bar Association Criminal Justice Standards on DNA Evidence

    According to the ABA Criminal Justice Section, "For forty years, the ABA Criminal Justice Standards have guided policymakers and practitioners working in the criminal justice arena. When the initial volumes were issued in 1968, Chief Justice Warren Burger described the Standards project as 'the single most comprehensive and probably the most monumental undertaking in the field of criminal justice ever attempted by the American legal profession in our national history.'" ( The ABA Standards on DNA Evidence include Standard 6.1, specifically referring to postconviction testing.

    The Justice Project, Improving Access to Post-Conviction DNA Testing: A Policy Review

    This 32-page policy review, published in 2008, "offers recommendations and solutions to expand access to post-conviction DNA testing. [It] 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." (

    National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence, Postconviction DNA Testing: Recommendations for Handling Requests

    This 131-page report was published in 1999 by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). According to NIJ, "The way DNA evidence is collected, preserved, and tested is critical to the success of its use in criminal cases. Postconviction DNA Testing: Recommendations for Handling Requests examines legal and biological issues applied to DNA technology in the appeals process while recognizing the value of finality in the criminal justice system. This NIJ Issues and Practices document suggests recommendations for prosecutors, defense counsels, courts, victims' advocates, and laboratory personnel when receiving requests for postconviction DNA testing to maximize the future benefits and use of DNA in postconviction proceedings." (

    DNA Shall Prevail: Postconviction DNA Evidence: An Annotated Bibliography

    This annotated bibliography by Deborah Sulzbach was published in Legal Reference Services Quarterly, Vol. 25(1), 2006. Directed toward attorneys, librarians, students, and others with an interest in the topic, the bibliography first provides an introduction to the use of postconviction DNA evidence, then presents an annotated bibliography of related literature divided into personal stories, state specific articles, the Innocence Protection Act, Innocence Projects, miscellaneous articles, and books.