It’s too early to know the impact of the new Texas law requiring DNA testing of all biological evidence death penalty cases, but the New York Times recently reported there is concern about the timeliness of the testing.
William Lee Hon is the Polk County criminal district attorney. He says, “We’re not sure that D.P.S. (Department of Public Safety) has the resources currently to adequately comply with that legislation.” Hon said in some Texas counties, it currently takes six months or longer for test results.
The goal of the new legislation is to prevent wrongful convictions. In Texas, there have been 54 exonerations based on DNA test results, including two inmates on death row.
Throughout the month of August, The Texas Tribune is featuring 31 ways new state legislation will change Texans’ lives.