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Enhancing Investigation Methods in Post-Conviction Claims of Innocence

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $293,860)

The purpose of the Wrongful Conviction Review Program is to provide high quality and efficient representation for potentially wrongfully convicted defendants in post-conviction claims of innocence. This program is funded under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117). Post-conviction innocence claims are likely to include complex challenges to the reliability or accuracy of evidence presented at trial which fall mainly into three categories: eyewitness identification evidence; confession evidence; and forensic evidence. The goals of this initiative are to provide quality representation to those who may have been wrongfully convicted; alleviate burdens placed on the criminal justice system through costly and prolonged post-conviction litigation; and identify, whenever possible, the actual perpetrator of the crime.

The Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project plans to use their FY 2010 Wrongful Conviction Review award of $293,860 to enhance investigation methods in post-conviction claims of innocence. Their goals are to systematically and efficiently process innocence claims by improving the capacity to investigate, collect documentation, and consult with experts; decreasing the backlog and increasing the number of cases processed and the number of people exonerated. The strategies are to hire a staff investigator to conduct interviews, to improve document retrieval, as well as to fund expert evaluations in cases with questionable evidence or forensic analysis.


Date Created: September 8, 2010