Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $255,444)
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) FY19 Upholding the Rule of Law and Preventing Wrongful Convictions (URLPWC) Program is committed to protecting the integrity of the criminal justice system and the consistent application of due process for all. The URLPWC Program supports state and local policymakers and practitioners, including conviction integrity or review units (CIUs) and wrongful conviction review entities (WCR entities) that represent individuals with post-conviction claims of innocence to review their potentially legitimate cases and enact measures to prevent future errors and ensure justice. The program also promotes partnerships between CIUs and WCR entities to support comprehensive approaches that both review wrongful conviction claims in topic areas, such as eyewitness identifications, where the risk for error is higher and reduce the risk for future error. Where possible, the URLPWC Program seeks to identify actual perpetrators of crimes, and to bring justice to victim(s), thereby enhancing public safety.
Under FY19 URLPWC Category 2, the recipient will implement a strategy led by a WCR entity to review, investigate, and adjudicate individual cases of post-conviction claims of innocence and appeals. Funds will be used to support high quality and efficient post-conviction representation for defendants in post-conviction claims of innocence. Additionally, the strategy should also include an assessment of the risk for wrongful conviction among the reviewed cases. CA/NCF