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Wrongful Conviction Unit Project (A combined unit including SADO''s successful Fast Response to Wrongful Conviction Project and SADO''s Detroit Crime Lab Unit)

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $249,734)

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 FY12 BJA Wrongful Conviction Review Program, Pub. L. No. 112-55, 125 Stat. 552, 615. 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 Michigan State Appellate Defender Office will use the grant award to create a formal Wrongful Conviction Unit that will provide quality and timely representation to the wrongfully convicted. The new unit will alleviate the burden and costs of protracted appeals and incarceration, and identify cases that law enforcement may pursue to identify the actual perpetrator. Funds will support staff salaries and travel costs associated with attending training. CA/NCF

Date Created: August 21, 2012