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California Western School of Law's Hawaii Innocence Project

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $290,663)

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 Hawaii Innocence Project, which is a law school clinic that reviews more than a dozen claims of innocence from Hawaii inmates each year. The Hawaii Innocence Project will identify legitimate claims of innocence through extensive investigation, obtain new evidence, and represent appellants in court in an attempt to vacate judgment or overturn convictions. Once an inmate's application is accepted under the program mandate, a preliminary investigation will be conducted by a law student. If further review is required, a full investigation will be conducted in order to search for evidence that could exonerate the inmate. Travel to interview potential witnesses is required. Finally, once the determination to represent an inmate in their innocence claim is made, the case will require a full review of all trial transcripts, motions for preservation of evidence, negotiations with opposing counsel, court appearances, and meetings with clients.


Date Created: August 18, 2008