Inmates in California prisons can already request DNA tests of evidence from their cases. But Democratic State Senator Ted Lieu says the process is cumbersome and presents numerous hurdles for prisoners. He's introduced a bill to streamline the process.
One of the changes his bill proposes would allow courts to order that the DNA be run through a federal database.
“Maybe 10 years ago this DNA evidence would not have triggered a hit of any perpetrator," Lieu says. "But now it may. And it may be someone totally different than a person sitting in state prison.”
Additional changes would include lowering the standard inmates have to meet to request a test and extending the amount of time an inmate has to request that evidence from his trial be preserved.
Lieu says over 300 innocent people have been released from prison because of DNA evidence testing, including eight in California.
The California Legislature is expected to adjourn its two-year session just past midnight Friday. It's an early end to what has so far been a surprisingly calm final week.
California's Senate passed a bill that would require public institutions of higher education to adopt procedures to prevent campus sexual assault and domestic violence, and to assist victims.
A bill that would require toy guns to be painted with markings to show they are fake has passed the state legislature.
The California Legislature’s “gut-and-amend” process is highly criticized, but lawmakers defend it as necessary.
Sources tell Capital Public Radio that a deal has been reached for legislation that would tighten regulations for ride-sharing companies.