Critics Urge Md. Prosecutors To Pursue DNA Tests

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Two weeks ago, Chris Conover walked away from a life prison term when DNA testing disproved prosecutors’ contention that two of his hairs were at the scene of a 1984 double murder. His attorneys and experts question why prosecutors are not taking steps to find out whose hair was, in fact, on the body of 18-year-old Lisa Lynn Brown, the Baltimore Sun says.

Ten years after DNA testing cleared Kirk Bloodsworth in the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl, police have not run the evidence through state or national DNA databases of felons – databases set up to solve such crimes. “When a prosecutor agrees to dismiss murder charges against someone they thought committed the crime, their ethical duty to seek justice requires testing forensic evidence with every person in the criminal databank,” said law Prof. Douglas L. Colbert of the University of Maryland School.

In Conover’s case, prosecutors said they will not check the DNA against the database because they are convinced he is guilty. They said testing the hair from Conover’s case is useless now. Just because the hairs were at the crime scene doesn’t mean they came from the murderer, prosecutors said, so why test them?


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