Innocence Project Northwest Invested in Biological Material Retention, Despite Difficult Legislative Session

By Rachael Wallace The Washington State legislative session ended last month, with many issues tackled but some left untouched. The Innocence Project Northwest, operating out of the University of Washington School of Law, worked tirelessly on a biological material retention bill that eventually died in the House of Representatives. The bill initially placed an 18-month moratorium on the destruction of biological evidence in felony cases. It also created a work group to recommend permanent, statewide standards for preserving biological material. Currently, Washington State has no policy on the preservation of biological material. In the House, Rep. Tina Orwall from Des Moines sponsored the bill. The Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Jeannie Darneille from Tacoma. Increasingly in the last 10 years, DNA analysis has been used to convict criminals and to free the wrongfully convicted. Innocence projects have expanded throughout the nation as DNA analysis becomes more reliable and less expensive to use in post-conviction review. In Washington last year,

read more Innocence Project Northwest Invested in Biological Material Retention, Despite Difficult Legislative Session