Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Alabama also eying post-conviction DNA law, with a catch

On the heels of yesterday's post comes word that Alabama is considering a similar bill.

If evidence meets requirements and the applicant financially qualifies, testing would be ordered. To fund the program, the bill requires the fees now assessed in every court to be raised from $2 to $12.

Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences Director Michael Sparks said such a law would follow a national trend.

“Alabama is one of five states that does not have post-conviction testing using DNA,” he said. Sparks cited individuals released from death rows across the country on DNA results.


But at the very end of the article I found cause for concern:

The bill also provides for DNA collection for everyone arrested and charged with a felony or sexual offense after October 2010. Under current law, a DNA sample can be taken from anyone with a felony conviction.


This sounds like a rider inserted as a concession to legislators afraid of being seen as tough on crime. They don't realize, of course, that favoring justice for the wrongly convicted doesn't undermine whatever other staunch anti-crime bravado they might make their common fare.

1 comment:

FLJerseyBoy said...

Ryan, just a clarification: This sounds like a rider inserted as a concession to legislators afraid of being seen as tough on crime.

I think you might have meant something like "soft on crime" there, maybe?

Thanks for your thoughtful posts.