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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Lawmakers Consider Expanded Post-Conviction DNA Testing

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network
Ted Bradford speaks to the press at the Oregon capitol. He's flanked by two representatives from the Innocence Project.

Some Oregon lawmakers want to give more convicted criminals the chance to clear their name.

A House panel heard testimony Wednesday on a measure that would allow more people to use DNA testing to prove their innocence.

Ted Bradford spent nearly a decade in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Bradford was convicted of a 1995 rape in Yakima, Washington. But after he was released, evidence showed another man's DNA at the crime scene and Bradford was acquitted in a second trial.

He said even though was already free, the exoneration was key to putting his life back together.

"After this long struggle, to finally be able to say I'm free, I'm clear of all of this, it means the world to me,” Bradford said.

The Oregon measure would expand the list of crimes that would be eligible for post-conviction DNA testing.

The Oregon District Attorney’s Association opposes the bill. The group says additional testing would be expensive and would be an unfair burden on the justice system.