Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear DNA Case

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving the question of whether a defendant has a constitutional right to test genetic evidence found at the scene years after he was convicted. The case is District Attorney's Office v. Osborne, 08-6. William Osborne was convicted of rape, kidnapping and assault on a prostitute that occurred in 1993 in Alaska. William Osborne admitted his guilt when he appeared before the parole board in 2004. Another man was also convicted in the attack and has stated that William Osborne participated in the attack. A condom and hairs were found at the scene but the advanced DNA testing that is available today was not available at the time of William Osborne's trial. William Osborne is now seeking to subject the condom and hairs to the advanced DNA testing that is available today. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Osborne has a right to subject the evidence to such testing. The Alaska prosecutors are objecting to this request arguing that even if the testing determines that the hair and condom are not Osborne's, there was additional evidence introduced at trial to leave no doubt as to his guilt.

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