Tuesday, September 11, 2012

UIS-based Illinois Innocence Project awarded second half-million dollar post-conviction DNA testing grant

The Illinois Innocence Project, based at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been awarded $589,638 from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to be used for post-conviction DNA testing. The grant, which will be administered by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, was announced on September 10 by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.

The Illinois Innocence Project has previously focused on cases in downstate Illinois, and will use this funding to expand its efforts to cases in the northern part of the state. This grant will allow the Illinois Innocence Project to identify, review, and investigate cases in northern Illinois to determine the strength of DNA evidence and to arrange for DNA testing when it appears crucial to verifying a claim of actual innocence. The grant was made available through the Post-Conviction DNA Testing Assistance Program.

This is the second federal post-conviction DNA testing grant awarded to the Illinois Innocence Project. In November 2010, the project was awarded a $687,448 Department of Justice Bloodsworth Grant to clear downstate Illinois innocence cases where DNA testing might decide the outcome.

For more information, contact Larry Golden at lgold1@uis.edu. More information about the Innocence Project can be found on their website at www.uis.edu/innocenceproject/.

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