Bill aims to expand access to DNA testing again

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A Texas lawmaker is filing a bill intended to fix issues created by a 2011 law he authored that makes crime-scene DNA testing difficult for convicts.

Democratic Sen. Rodney Ellis will discuss the bill Monday. He's being joined by the New York-based Innocence Project and Michael Morton, who was imprisoned for 24 years for a murder he didn't commit, but cleared by DNA testing.

The 2011 legislation stipulates that a convicted person may request testing of "evidence containing biological material." Last year, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals quoted it in denying further testing in the case of Larry Ray Swearingen.

Swearingen, convicted in 1998 of capital murder, asked for DNA testing of pantyhose found at the scene. The request was denied because Swearingen hadn't proven that biological material existed.

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