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Measures To Expand Postconviction DNA Testing

Concerning measures to expand postconviction DNA testing.
2023 Regular Session
Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
Bill Summary

Under current law, an incarcerated person can motion the court for postconviction DNA testing to prove the person's actual innocence if DNA testing was not available at the time of the person's prosecution. The bill changes who can apply for postconviction DNA testing to include a person convicted of or adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity for a felony offense in Colorado, including a person currently incarcerated; a person on parole or probation for a felony offense; a person subject to sex offender registration; or a person who has completed the sentence imposed for the felony offense (eligible person).

The act allows an eligible person to apply for postconviction DNA testing:

  • To show a reasonable probability that the person would not have been convicted; or
  • If evidence was previously available and tested and the evidence now can be subjected to more advanced, scientifically reliable DNA testing that provides a reasonable likelihood of more probative results.

The act permits the court to order postconviction DNA testing if there is a reasonable probability that the petitioner would not have been convicted if favorable results had been obtained through DNA testing at the time of the original prosecution.

The act allows a court to consider a subsequent petition with new or different grounds for relief if the petitioner establishes good cause or the interests of justice so require.

If the results of DNA testing are favorable to the petitioner, the court shall schedule a hearing within 30 days after the results to determine appropriate relief to be granted including, but not limited to, an order setting aside or vacating the petitioner's conviction. The act requires the district attorney to notify the victim of the hearing at which the victim can appear.

APPROVED by Governor March 10, 2023

EFFECTIVE October 1, 2023
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details