In 2004, Congress overwhelmingly passed the “Justice for All Act,” which established a grant program for states to conduct post-conviction DNA testing in cases where it could prove guilt or innocence. But since the program was established, the Department of Justice has yet to hand out a single dollar. Justice officials claim the problem is with the law itself, which they say is written in such a way that it makes it almost impossible for states to qualify. But others, such as Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) say the problem is with the Justice Department. I spoke to Leahy about the dispute earlier this week in a piece for Vermont Public Radio, which you can find by going here.
The piece also includes interviews with Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) and Stephen Saloom, the Policy Director for the Innocence Project.