Published on: Wednesday, June 7, 2023

In 1993, an Arkansas woman is brutally murdered in her apartment while her two young children watch from a closet. A man is convicted, twice sentenced to death due to a reversal). In the days before his scheduled execution, he seeks DNA testing—much improved since the 90s—on 26 pieces of evidence, which allegedly point to a perpetrator of a different race and would thus exonerate the condemned man. The state courts refuse, holding that a state law only permits such testing if it will "significantly advance" a claim of innocence, and determining that this evidence wouldn't do that. Eighth Circuit: The man certainly can challenge the constitutionality of that law.

This case is Johnson v. Griffin, No. 22-1922 (8th Cir. June 5, 2023).