The Innocence Project : A National Litigation Organization

1381 WordsOct 24, 20146 Pages
Part One: What is the Innocence Project? The Innocence Project is, “a national litigation organization that is dedicated to acquitting wrongfully convicted “criminals” through DNA testing and through reforming the system to prevent further injustice” (The Innocence). The Innocence project was founded by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in 1992, and became a nonprofit organization in 2004. In addition to our co-directors and a managing attorney, there are six full-time staff attorneys and nearly 300 active cases. As a clinic, the law students handle the casework while being supervised by the team of attorneys and clinic staff. To determine whether or not to represent a case the Innocence Project gathers extensive information about each case application, and their intake and evaluation staff researches each potential case thoroughly. The legal staff ultimately determines whether DNA testing can be performed and, if so, whether or not the results will be favorable in innocence. The length of time spent on each case depends on how quickly evidence is found and secured; how long it takes to test the evidence. The Innocence Project also faces many hurdles in litigating theses cases. They include time-consuming and thorough efforts to find evidence; damaged evidence that cannot be correctly tested; lost or destroyed evidence; and prosecutorial objections. From the time a case is accepted, it can take between a year and

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