Friday, October 5, 2018
The pertinent portion of Vermont's postconviction DNA testing statute, 13 V.S.A. § 5561(c)(1), states that
The petition [for postconviction DNA testing] shall be filed in the superior court of the county where the conviction was imposed, and shall not be heard by a judge who presided over the trial, sentencing, or any motion hearing related to evidence to be admitted at the trial.
So, where does that leave pleading defendants?
As noted, the statute states that the petition for postconviction DNA testing "shall not be heard by a judge who presided over the trial, sentencing, or any motion hearing related to evidence to be admitted at the trial." The multiple references to a trial make it seem likely that Vermont would not allow pleading defendants to seek postconviction DNA testing. That said, I'm not aware of any Vermont case law on the subject.