U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

2018 Postconviction DNA Testing Program

Award Information

Award #
2018-DY-BX-0009
Funding Category
Competitive
Location
Congressional District
Status
Open
Funding First Awarded
2018
Total funding (to date)
$531,894

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $531,894)

Created in 2006 by the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission (Commission) is a neutral, fact-finding state agency that is charged with investigating post-conviction claims of actual innocence which result from felony convictions within North Carolina. The Commission is the first and only of its kind in the United States. The Commission is made up of eight Commissioners from a broad range of perspectives within the criminal justice system. In addition, the Commission's day-to-day operations are carried out by a full-time staff of six: an executive director, an associate director, a staff attorney, a legal investigator, a case coordinator and an administrative secretary. Further, under the 2015 Postconviction DNA Testing Program (2015 Grant), the Commission currently employs two grant staff members: a staff attorney and an investigator. The Commission has been fortunate to receive funding under the 2009 and 2012 Postconviction DNA Testing Assistance Programs (2009 Grant and 2012 Grant) and under the 2015 Grant. As with all of these awards, the Commission aims to use funding from the 2018 Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence (2018 Grant) award to conduct DNA testing in cases where the Commission's State funding is otherwise insufficient. At present, the Commission receives $10,000 per year for forensic testing in the State budget. Commission data shows that on average $55,000 per year is necessary for DNA testing in qualifying cases. The Commission will use the requested funds to employ two grant staff members. They will be responsible for investigating cases, including searching for, locating, and collecting evidence for DNA testing. Additionally, funds will be used to conduct DNA testing in qualifying cases where physical evidence can be located and the results of DNA testing could show innocence. These funds will be used to employ the most appropriate laboratory for testing. Limited funds will be used for supplies and to equip the Commission's evidence room for evidence collected by the Commission in grant qualifying cases. This proposal illustrates how the 2018 Grant will allow the Commission to review, search for evidence, and conduct DNA testing in a significant number of cases. Without this funding, the Commission will not have the manpower to swiftly investigate DNA claims thus creating a backlog of cases where timely evidence searches are critical. Since receiving the 2009 Grant, the Commission has compiled data to support its request. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 21, 2018