Some Inmates To Get Free DNA Tests

Thursday, July 27th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Prosecutors in Southern California plan to offer free DNA tests to some inmates even though the results might overturn convictions, USA Today reported.

The paper said in Thursday's editions that San Diego County prosecutors have been reviewing the cases of about 560 inmates since June to determine whether DNA tests developed since their convictions — all prior to 1992 — can be used to link biological evidence from a crime scene to someone other than the person convicted.

It said the county plans to pay for tests in such cases, at a cost of about $5,000 each, and that it would be the first program of such free tests in the nation.

The paper said prosecutors in Riverside and Ventura counties have contacted the California District Attorneys Association for help in preparing such plans and that similar initiatives are being considered in Illinois and Texas.

The Justice Department has been conducting a series of seminars for police officials concerning the evolving use of DNA evidence.

USA Today said the San Diego plan was to be discussed at the latest meeting Thursday.