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Name: District Attorney v. Osborne
Case #: 6-Aug
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Citation: 557 U.S. 52

Appellant has no constitutional right to obtain post-conviction access to the State’s evidence for DNA testing. Osborne was convicted of sexual assault in state court. He filed this suit under section 1983 contending that he had a due process right to access the evidence used against him for DNA testing at his own expense. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s opinion that Osborne had a limited constitutional right to the new testing. The United States Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Ninth Circuit erred in finding a due process violation. The task of establishing rules regarding DNA evidence belongs primarily to the legislature. There was nothing inadequate about Alaska’s post-conviction relief procedures. The Court rejected Osborne’s invitation to recognize a substantive due process right to DNA evidence.

Opinion Date: 06/18/2009