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Department of Justice Provides States With Funding for Testing in Postconviction Cases
Date:9/16/2008

Kentucky Receives $1.1 Million to Investigate Innocence Claims

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced over $1.1 million to the State of Kentucky to help defray costs associated with reviewing cases where DNA testing and evidence may prove actual innocence. Awarded by the DOJ's Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the funding is one of five competitive awards provided to Arizona, Texas, Virginia, and Washington totaling over $7.8 million.

"Postconviction DNA testing has received significant attention in recent years with the arrival of forensic DNA analysis," said OJP Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey L. Sedgwick. "More than two hundred people convicted of crimes have been exonerated through DNA analysis of crime scene evidence that was not tested at the time of trial. These awards are another important step in implementing the President's DNA Initiative in an effort to protect the innocent and to bring the guilty to justice."

Administered by OJP's National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the awards are the first to be provided through OJP's Postconviction Testing Assistance Program, which also requires recipient states to comply with improved standards regarding biological evidence storage and testing procedures. The funding will be used to review cases of forcible rape, murder, and non-negligent manslaughter, and locate and analyze evidence connected with the cases.

The State of Kentucky, in partnership with the Kentucky Innocence Project, proposes to use the award for resources required to review cases identified as potential wrongful convictions. Kentucky will use the funds to hire attorneys and investigators, purchase necessary equipment, and investigate biological evidence from eligible postconviction cases.

The President's DNA Initiative, Advancing Justice through DNA Technology, provides funding, training, and assistance to ensure that forensic DNA reaches
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SOURCE Office of Justice Programs - US Department of Justice
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