U.S. Department of Justice: Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence
The Department of Justice (DOJ) seeks to fund programs designed to assist in defraying the costs associated with postconviction DNA testing in cases of violent felony offenses (as defined by State law) in which actual innocence might be demonstrated. Funds may be used to identify and review such postconviction cases, and to locate and analyze associated biological evidence. Only a limited portion of funds may be used for case identification activities.
The goal of this program is to fund projects that assist States and units of local government with postconviction DNA testing in cases of violent felony offenses where actual innocence might be demonstrated. While successful exonerations to correct injustice are notable program outcomes, the careful review, consideration, and closing of cases subjected to postconviction DNA testing that do not ultimately demonstrate innocence also work to advance the public’s interest that justice has been fairly applied.
Program objectives with respect to target number of cases to be reviewed and other concrete goals must be outlined in the proposal. Funded projects are expected to implement some aspect of each of the following activities, except for case identification, which is not mandatory:
- Identify potential postconviction DNA testing cases. A maximum of 15 percent of the proposed budget may be dedicated to case identification activities.
- Review appropriate postconviction cases to identify those in which DNA testing could prove the actual innocence of a person convicted of a violent felony offense as defined by State law.
- Locate biological evidence associated with such postconviction cases.
- Perform DNA analysis of appropriate biological evidence.
Amount: Approximately $5,400,000 is available to make up to 10 awards.
Eligibility: States, units of local government, and public institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education).
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