Senate votes to end deadline to petition for DNA test, trial

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – The Michigan Senate has voted unanimously to eliminate a deadline for people convicted of felonies to petition a judge for new DNA testing and a new trial.

Michigan in 2001 began allowing post-conviction requests for DNA testing, which has resulted in innocent inmates being set free and can identify the true perpetrators. There was a deadline to file, which has been delayed several times.

The bill going to the House would eliminate a Jan. 1, 2016 deadline and set no new deadline.

Supporters say the post-conviction DNA testing process hasn’t burdened the court system. The Cooley Innocence Project says it has screened more than 5,000 cases since 2001 but filed just 27 petitions for DNA testing as of March.

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