Advocates Urge Texas To Again Expand DNA Testing

CBS Houston

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Advocacy groups and a Texan who spent nearly 25 years in prison for a killing he didn’t commit are urging the 2015 Legislature to again expand access to crime-scene DNA testing.

Michael Morton was convicted of the 1986 slaying of his wife but exonerated by DNA testing in 2011. He joined the New York-based Innocence Project and Democratic Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston at the Texas Capitol on Wednesday.

Those gathered say they want “minor fixes” to an existing law they say was weakened by an appeals court ruling.

The 2011 law allowed genetic testing on most crime-scene evidence. In February, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals again denied further DNA testing in the case of death row inmate Larry Swearingen. He’s condemned for the 1998 slaying of Melissa Trotter.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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