Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $500,000)
Under this program, BJA provides funding to help defray the costs associated with postconviction DNA testing for violent felony offenses (as defined by state law) in which actual innocence might be demonstrated.
Washington Postconviction DNA Initiative efforts will address systemic challenges to increase the number of applicants served, improve access to assistance for minority groups, and expedite the time to complete case review and postconviction DNA testing in Washington. The project will be achieved through four goals:
(1) Support Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory Division efforts to increase timely access to advanced DNA testing for prisoners with innocence claims.
(2) Increase the Washington Innocence Projects capacity to efficiently move qualified cases into DNA testing.
(3) Expand and support pro bono attorney network to complete additional cases.
(4) Conduct outreach and evaluation to increase minority population access to the Washington Innocence Project.