Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $337,314)
The SADO DNA Unit attorney will continue the process by reviewing a large number of cases to identify potential clients from the untested kits, working with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office to secure testing of the evidence, and evaluating whether testing demonstrates the actual innocence of someone previously convicted. Experiences in other jurisdictions show the critical importance of such a process. In New York City, a program responding to the DNA testing backlog from sexual assault kits resulted in the release of an actually innocent individual, Michael Mercer.
Analysis and testing of the biological material in this sexual assault kit backlog also means significant costs to the State of Michigan and Wayne County. SADO's Postconviction DNA Testing Project will help to defray these state and local costs while identifying potential cases of actual innocence. local costs while identifying potential cases of actual innocence. ca/ncf