By Peter Bolling
June 19, 2009
Alaska is one of only 3 states that do not provide a route that inmates can pursue to access DNA evidence after they have been convicted. DNA evidence should be recognized as a fundamental part of due process and, although the Supreme Court disagrees (5-4), the State of Alaska needs to legislate reasonable access to DNA evidence for inmates who claim innocence and for whom DNA evidence offers the possibility of exoneration.
The state will incur some financial burden by providing access to DNA evidence and by paying for DNA testing, but that cost must be viewed as part of the necessary costs of having a justice system that Alaskans can be confident is performing effectively.
I hope that Sitnews readers will contact their elected representatives and encourage them to review the procedures in other states and provide reasonable access to post-conviction DNA testing in our state.
About: "American Government Teacher: Ketchikan High School"
Received June 19, 2008 - Published June 19, 2009
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