Tuesday, September 18, 2018
The pertinent portion of Oregon's postconviction DNA testing statute, 2017 ORS § 138.690, states that
A person may file in the circuit court in which the judgment of conviction was entered a motion requesting the performance of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) testing on specific evidence if the person has been convicted of aggravated murder or a felony in which DNA evidence could exist and is relevant to establishing an element of the offense.
So, where does that leave pleading defendants?
This seems like a pretty open ended statute that would apparently allow pleading defendants to seek postconviction DNA testing. That said, between 2001 and 2015, Oregon courts only granted one request for DNA testing. In 2015, however, Oregon legislators amended its DNA statute to lower the burden of proof to seek testing and to allow people who have already been released from prison to seek testing.