Friday, September 7, 2018
The pertinent portion of New Mexico's postconviction DNA testing statute, N.M. Stat. Ann. § 31-1A-2(C)(5), states that a defendant seeking postconviction DNA testing must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that
identity was an issue in his case or that if the DNA testing he is requesting had been performed prior to his conviction and the results had been exculpatory, there is a reasonable probability that the petitioner would not have pled guilty or been found guilty.
So, where does that leave pleading defendants?
New Mexico's postconviction DNA testing statute is one of the few that addresses pleading defendants. It makes clear that pleading defendants can seek postconviction DNA testing if they can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that exculpatory DNA testing would have led them not to plead guilty.