On October 9, 2004, both the US Senate and the House of Representatives passed legislation which expanded the access of rape victims and convicted felons to DNA testing. The Justice for All Act of 2004 [PDF] increased funding for processing backlogs of DNA samples from rape kits and death row cases and provided testing monies for current inmates whose cases might benefit from the introduction of DNA evidence. The ability of death row defendants to access DNA testing has been debated by both politicians and the courts. In March 2011, the US Supreme Court ruled in Skinner v. Switzer that convicted prisoners should have greater potential access to testing.
Learn more about DNA testing from the JURIST news archive, and read commentary on the issue from JURIST Guest Columnist William S. Sessions.