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Washington State Postconviction DNA Testing Program Grant. Prof. Jacqueline McMurtrie, J.D. Director, Innocence Project Northwest Clinic University of Washington School of Law Gary Shutler, Ph.D. Washington State Patrol, Crime Lab Division. RCW 10.73.170.

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washington state postconviction dna testing program grant

Washington State Postconviction DNA Testing Program Grant

Prof. Jacqueline McMurtrie, J.D.

Director, Innocence Project Northwest Clinic

University of Washington School of Law

Gary Shutler, Ph.D.

Washington State Patrol, Crime Lab Division

rcw 10 73 170
RCW 10.73.170
  • A person convicted of a felony in a Washington state court serving a term of imprisonment may submit to the court that entered the judgment of conviction a motion requesting DNA testing
  • Court shall grant testing if provisions of statute are met and convicted person has “shown the likelihood that the DNA evidence would demonstrate innocence on a more probable than not basis”
  • DNA testing ordered under this section shall be performed by the Washington state patrol crime laboratory
limiting factors
Limiting Factors:
  • Legal review of applications
  • Finding the DNA evidence
  • Crime lab resources for DNA testing
  • Specialty DNA testing (i.e. mitochondrial)
project component 1
Project Component #1

Use paralegal consultants to:

  • Assist in reviewing application files
  • Trace what happened to the DNA evidence after the original trial
  • Assist in filing motions with the court
project component 2
Project Component #2

Increase Crime Lab resources

  • Hire an experienced DNA scientist to compensate for the additional workload
  • Allow for more rapid turnaround for postconviction DNA case testing
project component 3
Project Component #3

Outsource specialty DNA testing

  • Mitochondrial DNA testing
  • YSTR typing
implementation plan
Implementation Plan

Legal review of application backlog

  • Supervised by IPNW Clinical Director, paralegal consultants help determine whether application meets RCW 10.73.170 criteria
  • Paralegal consultants assist in obtaining police reports, court transcripts, tracking evidence and filing motions
implementation plan8
Implementation Plan

Crime Lab Analysis

  • DNA Technical Leader or designate to provide technical advise on likelihood of success for meaningful DNA typing on evidence and type of testing to pursue
  • Evidence for successful applications will be accepted at any of the 5 WSP DNA labs
challenges
Challenges
  • Filling the DNA Forensic Scientist position with an experienced candidate
  • Setting up the paralegal consultant
  • Coordinating 2 state entities (WSPCL & UW)
thank you
Thank you
  • Questions?