Wednesday, October 3, 2018
The pertinent portion of Texas's postconviction DNA testing statute, Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 64.03(b), states that a petition for postconviction DNA testing must
A convicted person who pleaded guilty or nolo contendere or, whether before or after conviction, made a confession or similar admission in the case may submit a motion under this chapter, and the convicting court is prohibited from finding that identity was not an issue in the case solely on the basis of that plea, confession, or admission, as applicable.
So, where does that leave pleading defendants?
As the language of the statute makes clear, pleading defendants can seek postconviction DNA testing in Texas, and courts are precluded from finding that identity was not in issue by relying solely upon the plea.