Texas DA Opposes DNA Testing

Texas DA Opposes DNA Testing October 20, 2011

The prosecutor in Waco, Texas is opposing a request by an inmate to have DNA evidence tested that could prove his innocence. The man was convicted before DNA testing was possible. Here are the facts of the case:

Waco attorney Walter M. Reaves filed a motion asking for the testing Wednesday. It is part of an effort to exonerate Anthony Melendez, the only living defendant in the 1982 slayings of three teenagers.

In the motion, Reaves argues the testing is warranted because DNA analysis was not available when Melendez was convicted. He pleaded guilty but has since recanted, claiming he falsely confessed because his lawyers told him he would almost certainly get the death penalty if he went to trial.

Waco attorney Walter M. Reaves filed a motion asking for the DNA testing in the Lake Waco trople murder case Wednesday. It is part of an effort to exonerate Anthony Melendez, the only living defendant in the 1982 slayings of three teenagers

The motion does not ask the state to pay for the DNA testing. It only asks that 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson order the testing be done.

And here’s the prosecutor’s position:

Reyna said every request for post-DNA conviction must be carefully considered.

But in general, he doesn’t support such testing because it overrides what a jury decided, he said.

Uh, yeah. That’s the whole point. And if the DA had any interest at all in justice rather than on maintaining the myth of judicial perfection, he would want wrong decisions by a jury to be overturned — both because an innocent man may have spent the last 3 decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and because it might mean the real murderer is still walking free. But the DA doesn’t give a damn about those things, he cares only about his career. And not only should that cost him his job, it should get him disbarred.


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