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History on Post-Conviction DNA Exonerations
Post-conviction relief is a general term related to appeals of criminal convictions, which may include release, new trial, modification of sentence, and such other relief as may be proper and just. The court may also make supplementary orders to the relief granted, concerning such matters as re-arraignment, retrial, custody and release on security. The term may refer to a law or court rule that allows a collateral challenge to a judgment of conviction which otherwise became final in the normal appellate review process. Post-conviction relief governed by federal and state laws varies by state, and used to preclude state or federal habeas corpus (USLegal, Inc). In other words, post-conviction relief is the ability that individuals now have to request the extraction of their DNA and have the extraction compared to the DNA from the crime scene for which they were accused (Neufeld, 2001). Further, a person convicted of a crime who has exhausted all normal appellate remedies and serving time in prison may still challenge his/her conviction, sentence, or conditions of confinement by filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus (Scheb, 1999).
Habeas corpus is a Latin term meaning; “you have the body” an ancient common-law device permitting judges to review the legality of someone’s confinement. In modern American criminal procedure, habeas corpus has become a way for pri...