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Strategies to Improve Casework Operational Challenges in Post-Conviction Claims of Innocence

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $173,635)

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 Montana Innocence Project will use its grant award to provide quality and efficient representation to defendants in post-conviction claims of innocence by hiring a full-time staff attorney and funding DNA expert consultation and testing. Due to staff constraints, the grantee has been unable to move cases to the litigation stage, or secure DNA or other forensic testing and expert analysis. The award will enable the grantee to increase their investigative and litigative capacities, and more quickly and efficiently process innocence claims.


Date Created: September 6, 2011