Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $500,000)
The Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division, proposes to use post-conviction DNA testing funds to increase the number of cases reviewed for sexual assault offenses outlined in the Texas Penal Code; increase the number of attorneys and personnel involved in reviews; reduce the backlog in case reviews; pay for DNA testing at accredited laboratories; and provide office equipment for new personnel positions. In 2005, the Texas Legislature directed the Task Force on Indigent Defense to provide funding to the state's four public law schools to support their work in investigating claims of innocence by incarcerated individuals. Each university is eligible to receive up to $100,000 per year to operate innocence projects. The law schools at the University of Houston, University of Texas and Texas Tech University have operated innocence projects for several years. The project at Texas Southern University was officially established in the summer of 2007. No sub recipients have been outlined in the proposal.