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Measures To Expand Postconviction DNA Testing

Concerning measures to expand postconviction DNA testing.
2023 Regular Session
Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
Bill Summary

Under current law, an incarcerated person can motion the court for postconviction DNA testing to prove the person's actual innocence if DNA testing was not available at the time of the person's prosecution. The bill changes who can apply for postconviction DNA testing to include a person convicted of or adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity for a felony offense in Colorado, including a person currently incarcerated; a person on parole or probation for a felony offense; a person subject to sex offender registration; or a person who has completed the sentence imposed for the felony offense.

The bill allows an eligible person to apply for postconviction DNA testing:

  • To show a reasonable probability that the person would not have been convicted; or
  • If evidence was previously available and tested and the evidence now can be subjected to additional more advanced, scientifically reliable DNA testing that provides a reasonable likelihood of more probative results.

The bill permits the court to order postconviction DNA testing if there is a reasonable probability that the petitioner would not have been convicted or would have received a lesser sentence if favorable results had been obtained through DNA testing at the time of the original prosecution.

The bill allows a court to consider a subsequent petition with new or different grounds for relief if the court finds just petitioner establishes good cause or the interests of justice so requires.

If the results of DNA testing are favorable to the petitioner, the court shall schedule a hearing within 30 days after the results to determine appropriate relief to be granted including, but not limited to, an order setting aside or vacating the petitioner's conviction. The bill requires the district attorney to notify the victim of the hearing at which the victim can appear.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)


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Bill Text

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