Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $318,230)
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 University of Baltimore, will use its FY 2010 funding to administer a Wrongful Conviction Review Program. The award will assist with the implementation of a case screening and review program.
The goal of this project is to facilitate the identification and processing of claims of wrongful conviction by individuals who were convicted on the basis of flawed eyewitness identification evidence, false confession evidence or unreliable forensic evidence and for whom post-conviction DNA testing is either unavailable or is not sufficient to establish innocence. The University of Baltimore Innocence Project Clinic (UBIPC) funds will hire a full time staff attorney and paralegal to screen and evaluate pending requests for assistance. The funds will also be used to cover the retention of experts and professional investigators for 7 cases that appear to present meritorious claims of wrongful conviction, but that require additional investigation in order to present a formal claim of wrongful conviction to a prosecutor or a court.