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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 22, 2006

Corrected Version: This version corrects the description of the play "Exonerated."

Photo: Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. Click here for a high-resolution version of the image. Photo by Tim Schoon, University Relations Publications.

Reno Speaks On DNA, Other Investigative Technologies

Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno was at the University of Iowa Sunday to participate in a discussion about the use of DNA technology in death penalty trials.

Following are some mp3 audio actualities from Reno’s speech.

Speaking in Hancher Auditorium, Reno said that improved DNA testing technology gives the legal system the opportunity to test past cases to make sure people sent to jail for committing crimes actually committed those crimes.

QUOTE 1

Reno said that prosecutors can also use the technology in current cases to make sure their investigations lead to the conviction of the guilty person. She said that while prosecutors are reluctant to use DNA testing at first, those who have embraced it have found the science can help their investigations.

QUOTE 2

But Reno said the most important reason for using DNA technology is to make sure the guilty parties get punished and the innocent aren’t wrongfully jailed.

QUOTE 3

Reno also called for reforming laws that allow police to mislead suspects during interrogations, saying that those kinds of techniques lead to coerced confessions and should be prohibited.

Reno was at the UI as part of a series of events that highlight the use of DNA technology in criminal investigations. The events also include a performance of the play “Exonerated,” which looks at the lives of six criminals condemned for crimes they didn’t commit who were freed from death row for a variety of reasons, one of which involved DNA testing. The play will be performed Tuesday and Wednesday at Hancher Auditorium.

For more information about Reno’s visit and the other events, visit http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2006/january/010906exonerated.html

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.