Eight hundred persons convicted in New York City are seeking to prove their innocence through DNA testing. Unfortunately, it has been difficult to locate evidence in the city’s massive evidence storage facility. Now those who are actually innocent in this group have new hope. The National Institute of Justice has granted $1.2 million to enable the New York Police Department to dedicate a new staff person to search for sexual assault and homicide cases so that the evidence can be reclassified and assigned a bar code—making the evidence more readily available. Some DNA testing will also be covered by the grant, which will begin on October 1, 2012.
As reported in The New York Times (here) the funds will be applied in a highly efficient manner “because they will be utilizing infrastructure and expertise already in place. The cataloguing system for the evidence will utilize the NYPD’s recently modernized evidence tracking system.” A “new Innocence Project staff person will expedite innocence claims”…and “the Chief Medical Examiner has agreed to donate all staff time for the DNA testing.” Continue reading