Marvin Anderson and other men exonerated by DNA evidence say they want Attorney General Michael Mukasey to start doling out federal money to help states analyze evidence that led to other convictions, reports the Associated Press. “It’s fear,” Anderson, of Hanover, Va., said of the bureaucratic resistance to clearing the way for such analyses. DNA evidence exonerated Anderson in 2001 of a rape conviction, after he was sentenced to 210 years in prison and served 15. “No one wants to admit a mistake has been made.”
Anderson spoke in Washington before a Senate hearing on the issue. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy said he will ask the new attorney general why about $14 million that Congress has set aside for those analyses has not been spent. Congress made the money available nearly four years ago as part of sweeping legislation. More than 120 people have been freed from death row, Leahy said. He said the number points to the need to tighten forensic practices and give innocent people the resources to prove it. Other witnesses told stories of being turned down by the Justice Department for the grants, sometimes without explanation.