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Wrongful Prosecution Review Project

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $195,025)

This program is funded under both the Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program (Byrne Competitive Program) and the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. Authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 111-8), the Byrne Competitive Program helps local communities improve the capacity of state and local justice systems and provides for national support efforts including training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address local needs. The JAG Program (42 U.S.C. 3751(a)) is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions, and JAG funds support all components of the criminal justice system. The JAG Program authorization also provides that 'the Attorney General may reserve not more than 5 percent, to be granted to 1 or more states or units of local government for 1 or more of the purposes specified in section 3751 of this title, pursuant to his determination that the same is necessary ' (1) to combat, address, or otherwise respond to precipitous or extraordinary increases in crime, or in a type or types of crime.' (42 U.S.C. 3756).

The Wrongful Prosecution Review Program is designed to provide high quality and efficient representation for defendants in post-conviction claims of innocence. The goals of this initiative are to provide quality representation to the wrongfully convicted, alleviate burdens placed on the criminal justice system through costly and prolonged post-conviction litigation; and identify, when possible, the actual perpetrator of the crime.

The Innocence Project of Florida (IPF), through its Wrongful Prosecution Review project, will review all Florida cases with misleading Composite Bullet Lead Analysis (CBLA) evidence which led to CBLA-based post-conviction claims. CBLA is a procedure used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to link bullets recovered from a crime scene to bullets connected to a particular suspect. IPF will provide efficient representation and timely litigation on viable claims of innocence based on misleading CBLA trial testimony as these case-specific judgments put a severe burden on indigent defendants, especially in Florida which has the most known CBLA cases thus far, as well as strict time limits for filing claims of newly discovered evidence.


Date Created: September 23, 2009