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California Western School of Law's California Innocence Project

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $402,457)

The Edward Byrne Memorial Discretionary Grants Program (Byrne Discretionary Program) helps local communities improve the capacity of local justice systems and provides for national support efforts. This project is authorized and funded through a line item in the FY 08 Congressional Budget. Funds should be used for purposes recommended by Congress.

The California Western School of Law will support its California Innocence Project. Founded in 1999 as a part of the national network of Innocence Projects, the California Innocence Project is a law school clinic that reviews more than 2,000 claims of innocence from California inmates each year. The goal is to identify legitimate claims through extensive investigation, obtain new evidence, and represent the appellants in court in attempt to vacate judgment or overturn their conviction. The project utilizes a customized database to measure the performance and progress of each case. Ultimately, specific issues such as eyewitness misidentification, unreliable science, false confessions, unreliable informant testimony, bad lawyering, or government misconduct can be identified to determine where the system erred. Efforts can then be made to remedy the systems' shortcomings.


Date Created: August 12, 2008