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Bills advance to expand DNA testing

The second bill, House Bill 1034, would expand eligibility for people convicted of felonies to receive DNA testing. Current law only allows people who are actively incarcerated to receive the DNA testing, but the bill would open it up to people on felony parole, registered sex offenders, people who have completed their sentences, and people who were found not guilty by reason of insanity.

The bill would also permit courts to order DNA testing if there is a reasonable probability that the person would not have been convicted if DNA testing produced a favorable result at trial.

“Wrongful convictions are a problem in Colorado just as they are across the entire country,” said Rep. Lindsey Daugherty, D-Arvada, who sponsored HB 1034. “By improving our statue, we can enable petitioners to access testing to prove their innocence and identify the actual perpetrators of the offenses.”

Daugherty called Colorado’s current post-conviction DNA testing law outdated, pointing out that it hasn’t been updated since it was established in 2003. In those 20 years, only three people in Colorado have been exonerated for DNA-related reasons, she said.


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