EvidenceProf Blog

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

Monday, October 22, 2018

Project DNA: Wyoming


The pertinent portion of Wyoming's postconviction DNA testing statute, W.S. 7-12-303(d), states that 

The court may not order DNA testing in cases in which the trial or a plea of guilty or nolo contendere occurred after January 1, 2000 and the person did not request DNA testing or present DNA evidence for strategic or tactical reasons or as a result of a lack of due diligence, unless the failure to exercise due diligence is found to be a result of ineffective assistance of counsel. A person convicted before January 1, 2000 shall not be required to make a showing of due diligence under this subsection.

So, where does that leave pleading defendants? 

Wyoming's postconviction DNA statute makes clear that pleading defendants may seek postconviction DNA testing but that they must satisfy additional requirements that do not apply to defendants convicted after trials.



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I thought this might be of interest to you.

The attorney general’s response argues that Eaton’s claim to ineffective assistance of counsel was not properly preserved independent of the federal courts’ rulings on the death-penalty phase of the trial. By failing to maintain that Eaton had a separate ineffective assistance claim, the state lawyers argue, he waived his right to the appeal.

Although Eaton argued that his case is demonstrative of a split between federal circuit courts — and therefore in need of resolution by the U.S. Supreme Court — on whether appellants can waive their right to a fresh consideration of their case on appeal, the government in its Monday filing argued that Eaton’s case does not actually typify the issue.

“There is no question that the Wyoming Supreme Court adjudicated Eaton’s guilt-phase ineffective assistance of counsel claim on its merits,” wrote Attorney General Bridget Hill and Deputy Attorney General Jenny Craig, who supervises the office’s criminal division. “Therefore, even if this Court were to consider this claim as Eaton requests, the outcome of Eaton’s case would not be affected by this Court’s decision.”

Posted by: Richard M Garrett | Mar 31, 2020 7:36:36 AM

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