DNA Testing – Guilty Until Proven Innocent

DNA testing — Guilty until proven innocent. Read case histories of men freed from prison following post-conviction DNA testing.
  • r0207 Barbour

    Michael Paul Williams: Virginia must let everyone know about wrongful convictions

    This situation calls for an intervention.

  • Study of DNA data shows potential for wrongful convictions

    Roman said it is hoped the study will indicate how many people were wrongfully convicted of serious crimes from 1973 through 1988.

  • Va. ready to conduct familial DNA testing

    The Virginia Department of Forensic Science will neither confirm nor deny if testing has been done in particular cases.

  • Haynesworth applauded by forensic science officials

    Thomas E. Haynesworth, cleared in post-conviction DNA testing project, says, “Without you all I would not be with my family today.”

  • After 5 years, Va. DNA project has cleared 5 people

    The first break to come Thomas E. Haynesworth’s way in more than a quarter century was a letter notifying him that there had been DNA testing in one of his 1984 convictions.

  • Board recommends familial DNA testing

    Panel asks legislature to consider technique to broaden DNA database searches to close family members of suspects.

  • Training set for lawyers who would notify felons in DNA-testing project

    Six lunchtime training programs have been set for volunteer lawyers who want to help notify hundreds of felons that evidence possibly suitable for DNA testing has been discovered in their old cases. So far, six men convicted of rapes decades ago have been cleared by testing blood, semen and other biological material found in case files from 1973 to 1988 kept by what is now called the Virginia Department of Forensic Science.

  • DNA retests needed in up to 400 cases in Va.

    Miscommunication will require additional DNA testing in as many as 400 Virginia cases in a groundbreaking project aimed at clearing people wrongly convicted of crimes decades ago. The Virginia Forensic Science Board was told yesterday that retesting is necessary because the outside laboratory that performed the initial work did not use up, or “consume,” all of each sample to get the best results possible.

  • Va. cases shed light on false convictions

    No one ever claimed the criminal-justice system was perfect. But until 20 years ago, it was difficult to prove otherwise. Since then, 225 innocent people — 10 in Virginia — have been exonerated of crimes by DNA testing. However, DNA is not a factor in most cases, and the rate of wrongful convictions remains unclear. That could change, in part, because of a large, groundbreaking and sometimes hotly contested review of old cases under way in Virginia.

  • DNA-notification project may undergo a revision

    Volunteer lawyers may not be used to help find and notify people convicted of crimes decades ago that potential DNA evidence has been discovered in old state investigative files. A half-million forensic case files from 1973 to 1988 have been searched for biological material on the chance of clearing someone erroneously convicted of a rape, murder or other serious crime before DNA testing was available.

  • DNA amendment before Kaine

    A state budget amendment would require the Virginia Forensic Science Board to notify felons when biological evidence is found in their old lab files. More than 530,000 files from 1973 through 1988 — before DNA testing was widely used in criminal cases — have been searched in recent years to find biological material that might exonerate those wrongfully convicted.

  • Bill would require DNA info

    A key lawmaker has introduced legislation that would require that felons be told that testable DNA has been discovered in their old state forensic-lab files.

  • Felons not being told of new evidence

    Biological material turns up in 2,215 Va. cases prior to widespread DNA tests.

  • Forensic files are still under review

    Two felons may soon learn that their DNA was not found in old evidence now that the first results in a project to clear wrongfully convicted people are reaching the governor’s office. That does not mean, however, they are innocent. In 2005, two men were exonerated of rapes after a sample of just 31 old case files — from a time when DNA testing was not available — was tested. That prompted the current review of 534,000 old forensic files and testing that might prove innocence.

  • Two Va. inmates seek DNA tests

    But Virginia lab does not conduct type requested.


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