Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $500,125)
Advancing DNA technology makes it possible to identify the true perpetrator in cases and possibly establish innocence of someone that may have been wrongfully convicted. Funding will sustain and improve access to postconviction DNA testing for Washington prisoners, possibly leading to exonerations.
Program strategy, goals and objectives: The Washington Postconviction DNA Initiative's four key objectives will achieve its goal to possibly exonerate the wrongfully convicted and expand access to DNA testing in Washington State: (1) Support WSPCLD efforts to increase timely access to advanced DNA testing for prisoners with innocence claims; (2) Increase IPNW's capacity to efficiently move qualifying cases through the review process and into DNA testing; (3) Support and expand pro bono network to complete additional DNA cases; and (4) Conduct limited case identification to improve minority population's access to IPNW assistance.
Outcomes and deliverables: The two-year Initiative will support improvements in case outreach and identification success; complete evidence searches and case reviews in at least 120 potential DNA cases; prepare 40 cases to enter the DNA testing phase; and finalize testing in 20 cases over a two-year period. The collaboration of the WSPCLD, IPNW, and pro bono volunteers will result in exonerating prisoners that may have been wrongfully convicted.