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Wisconsin Wrongful Conviction Review Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $249,901)

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 Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act,Pub. L. No. 112-10, div. B, secs. 1101-1104; Pub. L. No. 111-117, 123 Stat. 3034, 3134. 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 Wisconsin Innocence Project, through the University of Wisconsin Law School, will use the award to support the investigative stage of representing priority cases by retaining two Clinical Instructors and an Intake Specialist who will review and screen cases more extensively once they have passed the initial review phase. In addition, the grantee will use funds to increase DNA testing and expert consultation. The additional staffing and support will enable the grantee to increase the hours spent assessing wrongful conviction claims, pursuing re-analysis of physical evidence, and litigating cases to identify actual perpetrators. The grantee will be able to capitalize on the extensive outreach and screening conducted under a previous DNA testing project, as well as have the latitude to investigate certain non-DNA cases identified that may also involve wrongful convictions.


Date Created: August 16, 2011