Innocence Project Urges Congress to Pass Justice For All Reauthorization Act to Reveal Wrongful Convictions, Identify the Truly Guilty


Innocence Project Urges Congress to Pass Justice For All Reauthorization Act to Reveal Wrongful Convictions, Identify the Truly Guilty

Bill would provide crucial funding for post-conviction DNA testing, help ensure crime lab accountability

(Washington, D.C. —

February 24, 2016

) Today, the Justice For All Reauthorization Act was introduced in the Senate by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and by Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Jim Costa (D-CA) in the House. The bipartisan legislation reauthorizes critical funding for post-conviction DNA testing and crime labs’ processing of forensic evidence. These important programs have contributed to the exoneration of the wrongfully convicted and the identification of the truly guilty.
“This bill would help improve public safety and accountability by reauthorizing important, evidence-based criminal justice system programs which have led to many exonerations, including those that have identified real perpetrators of crime,” said Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project. “The Innocence Project applauds and thanks Sens. Cornyn and Leahy, and Reps. Poe and Costa for introducing this bill, and urges both houses of Congress to swiftly pass it.”
Among its components, the legislation would reauthorize the Kirk Bloodsworth Post-Conviction DNA Testing Program, which has led to the exoneration of 28 wrongfully convicted persons; enhance access to post-conviction DNA testing; and reauthorize the Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Program, which supports capacity of crime labs to process forensic evidence while helping to ensure crime lab accountability.
“The Kirk Bloodsworth Post-Conviction DNA Testing Program has led to 28 exonerations in 10 states, revealing 10 real perpetrators in those cases, some of whom unfortunately went on to commit other serious, violent crimes,” said Rebecca Brown, Policy Director for the Innocence Project. “The evidence-based programs in the Justice For All Reauthorization Act work to prevent and reveal wrongful convictions, help provide true justice to victims and help ensure greater accountability and fairness in the criminal justice system.”
The National Registry of Exonerations currently lists almost 1,800 exonerations since 1989, 337 of which were based primarily on DNA.  In approximately half of the DNA cases, the true perpetrator went on to commit additional serious crimes before being identified. Additionally, 2015 was the third straight record-setting year for the number of exonerations in the U.S., with 149 occurring.

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Peggy Jesshope June 5, 2017 at 11:48 am Reply   

My son is currently in Monticello jail he has been in prison since he was 17 he has never committed a heavy crime no guns no drugs no destruction of any kind why he went to prison when he was 17 is unknown they falsified his records he spent another 4 years in prison I believe for escape he ran from the police and they beat him up he has been unjust since the age of 14 he has never committed any crimes the only crime he’s ever committed was stealing a car at the age of 16 he paid the price he paid restitution he just got out on parole couple months ago and now they put him back in jail for being late one time they treat him like he is an Axe Murderer they’re sending him back to prison for 12 months being late once they’re constantly harassing him he has nowhere to go really and has no one to help him as I’ve been looking for help for my son for many years I desperately need help from someone I should say my son desperately needs help as I say they can go over his records most of his records or falsified I will not let him get on with his life they have been tormenting him since the day he got out and was on Parole and for the last 15 years or more and as I said he is an innocent kid or young man now it all began when he did not want to go to school at the age of 15 and they harass them they put them in home they put him in jail I mean they tormented this boy he really need somebody’s help please help

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