SALEM, Ore. (AP) – There have been almost 500 exonerations nationally based on DNA evidence of people wrongfully convicted of crimes, but none in Oregon, where the majority of post-conviction motions for DNA testing are denied by Oregon courts.

On Tuesday, the Oregon Senate took a step toward lowering the barriers after it unanimously passed a bill that modifies procedures by which person convicted of a felony initiates proceedings to obtain DNA testing.

The Oregon Innocence Project, which championed the bill, thanked senators for making post-conviction DNA testing more accessible for the wrongfully convicted and recognizing the rights of innocent Oregonians.

The bill now goes to the House.

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