After seeing more than 130 prisoners freed by DNA testing in the last 15 years, prosecutors in Florida and across the country have mounted a vigorous challenge to similar new cases, reports the New York Times.
Prosecutors acknowledge that DNA testing is reliable, but they have grown increasingly skeptical of its power to prove innocence in cases where there was other evidence of guilt. Defense lawyers say these prosecutors, who often relied on the same biological evidence to convict the defendants before DNA testing was available, are more committed to winning than to justice.
The fight has become particularly heated in Florida, where prisoners will soon be barred from seeking DNA testing for old cases under a 2001 law that set an Oct. 1 deadline for such requests.
While prosecutors concede that DNA can prove whether someone is associated with a given piece of biological evidence, they insist that is not the same thing as proving whether a defendant committed a crime.