Court expands convicts’ access to DNA testing

OLYMPIA — Washington’s Supreme Court is expanding convicts’ access to DNA testing that could prove their innocence.

In a 6-3 ruling Thursday, the justices ordered DNA testing for Lindsey Crumpton, who was convicted of repeatedly raping a 75-year-old Bremerton woman in 1993. Crumpton was arrested running near the woman’s house, carrying bedding smeared with blood and jewelry the woman identified as hers.

State law says that post-conviction DNA tests can be ordered when a convict shows that DNA evidence would more probably than not demonstrate innocence.

The question in Crumpton’s case was whether judges should presume that DNA evidence would be favorable to the defendant. The majority reversed two lower courts in saying they should.

The three dissenting justices said the law includes no such presumption.

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