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Postconviction DNA Testing

Date Published
March 8, 2018

Postconviction DNA testing has received considerable attention in recent years. Since the advent of forensic DNA analysis, a number of people convicted of crimes have been subsequently exonerated through DNA analysis of crime scene evidence that was not tested at the time of trial. Additionally, newer technologies have substantially increased the successful DNA analysis of aged, degraded, limited, or otherwise compromised biological evidence. As a result, crime scene samples once thought to be unsuitable for testing in the past may now yield DNA profiles. Moreover, samples that previously generated inconclusive DNA results may now be amenable to reanalysis using newer methods.

Under the Postconviction DNA Testing Assistance Program, NIJ provides funding to help defray the costs associated with postconviction DNA testing in cases that involve violent felony offenses (as defined by State law) in which actual innocence might be demonstrated.

Discussing Postconviction DNA Testing Assistance — Symposium and Roundtable

Postconviction DNA cases involve management of some of the most complex practical and procedural matters. To help work through these complexities and improve the Postconviction DNA Testing Assistance Program, NIJ has held a roundtable and a symposium, both attended by policymakers and practitioners. Read summaries or watch videos from:

Date Published: March 8, 2018