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Legislature votes to end deadline to request DNA testing

Michigan Capitol Building photo
Michigan Senate
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www.senate.michigan.gov

The Michigan Legislature is eliminating a deadline for people convicted of felonies to petition a judge for new DNA testing and a new trial.

Michigan in 2001 began allowing post-conviction requests for DNA testing, which has resulted in innocent inmates being set free.

There was a deadline to file, which has been delayed several times.

Legislation approved unanimously by the House on Tuesday eliminates a Jan. 1, 2016 deadline and sets no new deadline.

It has cleared both chambers and likely will be sent to Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday for his expected signature.

Supporters say the post-conviction DNA testing process does not burden the courts.

The Cooley Innocence Project says it has screened more than 5,000 cases since 2001 but filed just 27 DNA testing petitions as of March.

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