Thursday, September 13, 2018
The pertinent portion of North Carolina's postconviction DNA testing statute, N.D. Cent. Code § 29-32.1-15(1)(a), states that a petitioner seeking postconviction DNA testing must establish that
[t]he testing is to be performed on evidence secured in relation to the trial which resulted in the conviction.
So, where does that leave pleading defendants?
North Dakota's postconviction DNA testing statute doesn't explicitly reference pleading defendants. That said, courts in most states with similar statutes that reference "trial" have held that their statutes do not cover pleading defendants and only cover defendants convicted after trials. Therefore, it seems likely that pleading defendants can't seek postconviction DNA testing in North Dakota.