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October 26th, 2012

National Institute of Justice Awards Grant to the NYPD, OCME and the Innocence Project

I meant to post about this a lot earlier. From the NYPD website:

September 24. New York City Police Department, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and Innocence Project Awarded Federal Funds to Identify Wrongful Convictions

Grant Will Enable the NYPD to Catalogue Evidence That Can Be Subjected to DNA Testing

The New York City Police Department, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Innocence Project have been awarded a National Institute of Justice grant to catalogue evidence to improve access for those seeking to prove their innocence through DNA testing. The $1.25 million in grant funds will be distributed over two years.

You can read the rest of the press release on the NYPD’s website. Here’s an earlier post of mine about the Property Clerk Division, which I believe illustrates the need for this grant. But as I’ve said many times now, the responsiblity for storing evidence should be handed over to an independent group.

Evidence should not be stored by an organization that has a vested interest in the outcome of the trial. If I wanted to put you in jail, for instance, would you be comfortable with me holding onto all the physical evidence that will decide your fate? This is not a comment on the NYPD by the way, this is just common sense.

Barrels of evidence at the Property Clerk warehouse.

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