Panel approves DNA bill testing for convicts

COLUMBIA – South Carolina would make DNA testing available for prisoners who claim they’re innocent under a bill heading to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The co-founder of the Innocence Project told senators today that the law could both exonerate wrongly convicted prisoners and help police find the person who committed the crime.

Barry Scheck says the Innocence Project has exonerated 214 prisoners through DNA testing since 1992. He says law enforcement used the evidence to find the true offender through DNA databases in 35 percent of those cases.

The measure sponsored by Senator Gerald Malloy would create the procedures for handling prisoners’ requests and preserving evidence.