CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Saturday, February 5, 2005

Bush Calls for Increased Lawyer Training and DNA Testing in Capital Cases

During his State of the Union address on Wednesday, President Bush acknowledged the problems with wrongful convictions, stemming from inadequate DNA testing and incompetent lawyers handling capital cases.  "In America,'' Bush said, "we must make doubly sure no person is held to account for a crime he or she did not commit, so we are dramatically expanding the use of DNA evidence to prevent wrongful conviction.''  Last Fall, Congress passed a law proposing $350 million over the next five years to make DNA testing more accessible for death row prisoners and to fund improved legal training to public and private defense attorneys, prosecutors, and state judges who handle death penalty cases.  But the law provided no funding.  Under the plan Bush set forth in the State of the Union, in the next year $20 million ($50 million over 3 years) would be spent in lawyer training and $236 million ($1 billion over 5 years) for DNA testing.  More from the AP... [Mark Godsey]

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