U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

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, $497,288)

The Alliance Pro Freedom of the Convicted Innocent will be spearheaded by the UPR-RP School of Law, in collaboration with the UPR Carolina and Medical Sciences campuses. In Puerto Rico the postconviction testing of DNA evidence is a fairly recent recourse for inmates claiming their innocence even after having being accused, tried, found guilty and sentenced. Prior to December 29, 2015, inmates in Puerto Rico had no right to request DNA testing after conviction. UPR-RP’s School of Law will identify potential wrongful conviction cases, investigating said cases with the assistance of UPR- Carolina’s undergraduate Department of Social Science and Criminal Justice. UPR-Medical Sciences will perform DNA testing. Potential cases will be drawn by reaching to violent crimes inmates, jailed in one of the 30 penal facilities of Puerto Rico’s correctional system. Given the newness of the Act for Post-Conviction DNA analysis, there is no recorded data for making an accurate estimate of wrongful conviction cases in Puerto Rico’s criminal system. An estimated 1-4% of said population exhibits the criteria of a wrongful conviction. Conservatively, five cases will qualify for DNA testing. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 27, 2019