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Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy | 100 Fair Oaks Lane, Suite 302, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601 | (502) 564-8006 | www.dpa.ky.gov Post Conviction DNA.

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Presentation on theme: "Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy | 100 Fair Oaks Lane, Suite 302, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601 | (502) 564-8006 | www.dpa.ky.gov Post Conviction DNA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy | 100 Fair Oaks Lane, Suite 302, Frankfort, Kentucky | (502) | Post Conviction DNA Testing Assistance Program: Advancing Justice through DNA Technology

2 Kentucky Innocence Project Since 2000:   Applicants 900+   Cases Selected 102   Carry Over/Pending36   Successes8

3 (8) Innocence Cases  Herman May - received 20 year sentence for rape when he was just 18 years old. DNA testing proved his innocence after he served 13 years.  Ben Kiper - sentenced to 55 years for rape. Released upon recantation of the alleged victim.  Tim Smith - conviction was vacated based upon ineffective assistance of counsel and he was granted a new trial. Tim’s indictment was dismissed at the request of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Unreliable expert testimony and/or “junk science” was the basis for the reversal.  Jaqulyn Green - sentenced to 17 years after pleading guilty to an offense that does not even exist in Kentucky. Governor Ernie Fletcher granted clemency to Jaqulyn on his last day in office.  Sam Plotnick - granted a new trial by the Kentucky Court of Appeals. Sam had been convicted of sexually abusing the son of his girlfriend. The boy’s mother did not provide a true explanation at the time of Sam’s trial because she was afraid she would lose custody of her children.  Sam Plotnick - granted a new trial by the Kentucky Court of Appeals. Sam had been convicted of sexually abusing the son of his girlfriend. The boy’s mother did not provide a true explanation at the time of Sam’s trial because she was afraid she would lose custody of her children.  Jason Girts was released at the request of the Commonwealth’s Attorney requested the court to dismiss the indictment against Jason. Jason was released from prison the next day.  Lacy Bedingfield released after serving 14 years for rape. DNA testing proved he was not the source of the physical evidence used against him.  Johnny Preston was released after serving over 40 years for robbery.

4 ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR KIP  Kentucky conviction and incarceration  Minimum sentence of 10 years or more  Minimum of three years to the parole board  New evidence that has been discovered since conviction OR that can be developed through an investigation * limiting criteria will be removed under the DNA testing grant * limiting criteria will be removed under the DNA testing grant

5 Preservation Statutes  KRS specifically permits a person sentenced for a capital crime to request DNA testing  Pursuant to KRS , “any other party [other than noncapital] in a criminal case after a specific showing of necessity for testing and analysis,” may submit an item of evidence for testing.  KRS provides for the testing of up to 5 items in a capital case. If more than 5 items require testing, the cost is borne by the agency making the request.  KRS provides for the retention of evidence that may be subject to DNA testing

6 MANAGEMENT PLAN  2 attorneys will oversee case reviews for the 48 cases which need DNA testing and in the re- canvassing and assessment of the viability of innocence claims.  4 investigators will cover separate regions of the state, locating physical evidence, locating records, and contacting witnesses, in order to review or make assessment as to innocence.  Forensic DNA Analyst will serve as an on-staff internal expert in analyzing evidence.

7 KIP Structure Under DNA Testing Grant KIP Supervisor Attorney II Forensic Expert 4 - Investigators Administrative Assistant Program Coordinator Attorney III KIP Attorney Investigator

8 OBJECTIVES  Case review and investigation of 48 backlogged cases of rape or homicide in KIP  Review all previously collected KIP applications, review cases within the DPA Post Conviction Division, solicit information on potential cases from law enforcement, Attorney General’s Office, Commonwealth Attorneys, crime lab, and canvass current inmate population in Kentucky prisons  Present findings and a summary of this project to the Kentucky Criminal Justice Council along with policy recommendations


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