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Northern California Innocence Project

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $236,673)

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 Santa Clara University will implent its Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP), through the "Wrongful Prosecution Review Program," to hire an experienced Supervising Attorney for the NCIP who will assist NCIP in reaching its goals of: 1) reducing the backlog of cases waiting to be investigated; 2) increasing the number of cases in litigation; and 3) proving the innocence of 1 to 3 more inmates wrongfully imprisoned in California. The Supervising Attorney will assist the legal director in advising less experienced attorneys and fellows, overseeing investigations, and conducting litigation that includes consulting forensic experts to identify and test exculpatory biological evidence.


Date Created: September 2, 2009