• 'Post-conviction DNA access in Massachusetts'


“Progressive” Massachusetts was one of the last states to allow access to DNA to those challenging their convictions, and Suffolk University Law School student Samantha Drake chronicles the long-drawn-out battle to legislate DNA access in the Rappaport Briefing commentary “Post-conviction DNA access in Massachusetts.”

“Wrongful conviction is a fact of life,” she writes. “Recent evidence indicates that at least 5 percent of convicted felons are innocent and approximately 10,000 people nationally are currently in prison for crimes they did not commit. However … post-conviction DNA testing has the power to free the innocent. … Advances in science and technology render DNA testing 99.999 percent accurate, making it the best determinant of guilt – or innocence. However, until recently, state law limited access to it.”

Drake’s legal studies are focused on criminal law and international criminal law. she has worked as a research fellow for the Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty and as a legal intern for the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.

The Rappaport Briefing offers a collection of student commentaries on issues confronting state and local government in Massachusetts, from utilities regulation to English-language learning.

The briefing blog, created by the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School, also presents news about Rappaport Center activities.

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Rappaport Briefing Commentaries