MICHIGAN—The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Innocence Project are pleased to announce that the Department of Justice is awarding a $550,000 grant to collaborate on case review and DNA testing in post-conviction cases. The funding supports the continuing collaboration between the two offices. Current DOJ funding supported the exoneration/grants of relief of Ramon Ward, Lacino Hamilton, Kenneth Nixon and Terance Calhoun.
Funding from the Justice Department grant will defray the costs associated with case review, evidence location and DNA testing where the results may show innocence of those convicted of felonies. The grant provides funding for personnel for both offices.
The WCPO Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) and the WMU-Cooley Law School Innocence Project will work jointly to screen cases to determine whether DNA testing might produce new evidence determinative of guilt. Forensic science has undergone tremendous changes over the years and offers the ability to both exonerate and convict.
This grant will allow the two entities to continue their successful partnership to ensure that justice has been served through the testing or retesting of forensic evidence that was integral to a conviction. The project will also provide training to grant personnel to help keep them abreast of the changes in forensic science.