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Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $574,060)

There are now many violent felony convictions predating DNA comparison warranting a review for biological evidence and testing. Similarly, there are cases after its advent where DNA testing could have been used, but was not, and cases where it was used but advancements in the science now support retesting. Launched in 2018 to prevent future wrongful convictions, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Conviction Integrity Bureau ("CIB") has received over one hundred applications in six months, all alleging wrongful conviction including for homicide and other violent felonies. During the two year period of performance for an award, it is reasonable to project that a minimum of an additional one hundred applications with be filed with the CIB. The purpose of the project is to promote the use of DNA testing during postconviction review of violent felony offenses. The project is designed to ensure that staffing levels of the CIB are adequate and appropriate to identify, investigate, and assess all eligible violent felony wrongful conviction claims in which DNA may play a role in exoneration. It is designed to insure that performance constraints will not be a factor in determining which cases will be forwarded for DNA testing. The goal of the project is to review over one hundred applications and an anticipated proactive review of an additional fifty cases while developing the CIB to ensure that it is engaged in nation-leading practices and policies governing review of wrongful conviction claims. The objective is to ensure the fair, impartial and equal administration of justice for violent felony convictions through the use of postconviction DNA testing. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 16, 2019