EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Friday, August 24, 2018

Project DNA: Michigan


The pertinent portion of Michigan's postconviction DNA testing statute, Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 770.16(4)(b)(iii), provides that the defendant must establish by clear and convincing evidence that, inter alia,

The identity of the defendant as the perpetrator of the crime was at issue during his or her trial.

So, where does that leave pleading defendants? 

A federal district court found this requirement precluded a defendant who pleaded guilty to sexual assault from seeking DNA testing of a foreign hair collected from the victim’s body. See Cassarrubias v. Prelesnik, No. 1:09-CV-1172, 2014 WL 1338172 (W.D. Mich., Mar. 31, 2014). The court concluded that the defendant’s “DNA claim was ‘not on all fours with the statute as far as a post-conviction relief,’ because there had not been a trial.”



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This is not on topic and I apologize for that. But was wondering if you could write about the latest decision on Joey Watkins habeas. Why you think the judge made such an awful decision, and what the prospects are for appeal. This is bothering me (and other people, I am sure) a lot. Thanks so much for all the good work you do.

Posted by: Cathy McLain | Aug 27, 2018 10:19:59 AM

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