Friday, July 27, 2018
The pertinent portion of Georgia's postconviction DNA testing statute, Ga. Code Ann. § 5-5-41(c)(3)(C) , provides in relevant part that:
(3) The motion shall be verified by the petitioner and shall show or provide the following:....
(C) The identity of the perpetrator was, or should have been, a significant issue in the case.
So, where does that leave pleading defendants?
There has been no Georgia case answering the question of whether pleading defendants can seek postconviction DNA testing. That said, in every state with an "identity in issue" clause and a court opinion on the issue, the court has held that pleading defendants cannot seek DNA testing because their identity was not in issue (based on their guilty plea). Therefore, I think it's likely that Georgia courts will eventually find that pleading defendants cannot seek postconviction DNA testing.