Tuesday, September 4, 2018
The pertinent portion of New Hampshire's postconviction DNA testing statute, N.H Rev. Stat, § 651-D:2(1)(a), states that:
I. A person in custody pursuant to the judgment of the court may, at any time after conviction or adjudication as a delinquent, petition the court for forensic DNA testing of any biological material. The petition shall, under penalty of perjury:
(a) Explain why the identity of the petitioner was or should have been a significant issue during court proceedings notwithstanding the fact that the petitioner may have pled guilty or nolo contendere, or made or is alleged to have made an incriminating statement or admission as to identity.
So, where does that leave pleading defendants?
The language of New Hampshire's statute makes crystal clear that pleading defendants can file postconviction DNA testing petitions. They simply must establish that identity should have been a significant issue (had the case gone to trial).