Court rules on DNA

WASHINGTON, (NBC) - Thursday the US Supreme Court ruled on a convicted prisoner's right to DNA evidence.

In a five-four ruling the high court decided states do not have to give convicts a chance to prove their innocence through DNA.

The court says most states already have DNA evidence laws and did not want to trump states' rights.

"The court hears, perhaps unduly, that there would be way too many requests for this kind of thing, even by criminals whose guilt had already been very clearly established"

The court ruled against William Osborne. An Alaska man convicted in a brutal attack on a prostitute sixteen years ago. The state argued Osborne waited too long to make his request.

Further complicating this case, he admitted his guilt, in hopes of winning parole.

To date, DNA testing has cleared more than 200 people found guilty of violent crimes.

The federal government and all but a handful of states give prisoners some rights to test the genetic material. Alaska doesn't.

"If this happened in Illinois, or if it happened in Washington, DC, or New York, he'd have a right to this testing."

"It absolutely shocks the conscience that a state could possess evidence to show the innocence of someone in prison and withhold that evidence regardless of what the law says."

From the High Court, it's a ruling that DNA testing denied, isn't necessarily justice denied.