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Pennsylvania Innocence Project

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $250,000)

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 FY15 (BJA - Wrongful Conviction Review) Pub. L. No. 113-76, 128 Stat. 5, 62. 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 Pennsylvania Innocence Project will use the award to reduce its backlog of wrongful conviction cases at each stage of its four-stage review process. Approximately 40% of cases in each review stage are either unassigned or awaiting further investigation before advancing to the next stage. The funds will support two full-time staff attorneys who will assist in the more advanced stages of case review, as well as manage the new Innocence Clinic at a local university. The personnel will enable the backlog reduction so that the grantee can better serve those claiming innocence.


Date Created: September 17, 2015