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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

House passes bill to allow more DNA testing to prove prisoner innocence

Here's a news item from The Associated Press:  BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho House members voted to eliminate a one-year limitation for inmates to file a petition for DNA or fingerprint testing. After clearing the chamber on Monday on a unanimous vote, Rep. Phil Hart's measure now goes to the Senate. Hart, an Athol Republican, says Idaho should expand prisoners' access to DNA tests because they've proved key in exonerating some 240 people across the United States over the past 20 years. In addition to appealing to representatives' sense of justice, Hart also pulled at their pursestrings amid the dreariest economy in decades: Every person cleared of a crime and released from prison will save taxpayers more than $20,000 annually. Hart expects a maximum of two such petitions annually, so even if taxpayers have to chip in for tests, it won't cost more than $1,000 a year.

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.