CCA considers post-conviction appeal and DNA testing

Shane Puckett, Volume 50¬†Articles Editor¬† JUDGE HERVEY DELIVERED THE OPINION FOR THE COURT. The issue in this case was whether post-conviction DNA testing, which revealed the presence of an unknown DNA sample on the murder weapon, created a reasonable probability that the defendant would not have been convicted had these results been available during trial. The Court of Criminal Appeals held that the evidence had been contaminated post-conviction and no such reasonable probability existed. In Pruett v. State, Pruett was convicted of capital murder in 2002. In 2015, Pruett moved for post-conviction DNA testing under Chapter 64 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. When the murder weapon was initially tested in 2000, there were no unknown DNA samples present. However, when the weapon was re-swabbed in 2015, a DNA profile of an unknown female was obtained. Pruett argued that had these results been available during his trial, he would not have been convicted. The trial court concluded that, although there was an unknown sample found in the 2015 testing, the weapon had been contaminated post-conviction. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed and held that it was not reasonably probable that Pruett would not have been convicted had the testing … Continue reading CCA considers post-conviction appeal and DNA testing