THE BRONX - Several lawmakers are proposing bills designed to prevent innocent people from ending up behind bars.
Bronx resident Alan Newton spent 22 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of rape. New DNA testing and help from the Innocence Project, responsible for exonerating several convicts, set him free last year.
Innocence Project representatives say there are many others serving time for crimes they didn?t commit. The group of proposed bills would make it easier for prisoners to use DNA to try to prove their innocence.
Among the proposals is one that would establish statewide rules for the storage of biological evidence. Another would give judges more authority to order DNA tests be run against forensic databases.
According to the Innocence Project, DNA has exonerated 23 inmates in New York State.