Bloomberg Law
Feb. 23, 2021, 9:45 AM

Are You Still a Person if You’re Dead? DNA Court Case May Answer

Jordan S. Rubin
Jordan S. Rubin

Powerhouse attorney Paul Clement is pressing a Tennessee court for DNA testing to prove a man’s innocence in a potential history-making case that could turn on a single word.

Sedley Alley already has been executed, so Clement has to convince the criminal appeals court that Alley is a “person” under state law entitled to testing.

“I don’t think when somebody passes away they cease being a person,” he told the three-judge panel in a virtual argument earlier this month.

If the Kirkland & Ellis partner’s argument succeeds, it could lead to the first time DNA testing proves an innocent person ...

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