Innocence Program resources

Getting it Right. Watch these short videos developed by the Innocence Project, which provide an excellent overview of the numerous factors associated with wrongful convictions.

General Information on Wrongful Convictions

Innocence Project – “Understand the Causes.” Visit this page for useful data on the causes of wrongful convictions, along with interactive videos and links to important research.

Wrongful Convictions Blog. Follow recent developments in wrongful conviction cases in the United States and around the world.

National Registry of Exonerations. Database of 892 exonerations that can be sorted by state, crime, and cause of wrongful conviction, published in 2012 by the University of Michigan Law and Northwestern Law.

Brandon Garrett, “Convicting the Innocent: Data and Materials.”  Visit the website that accompanies Brandon Garrett’s book, Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong (2011), reporting a comprehensive study of the first 250 DNA exonerations.

Case Law and Legislative Resources

Innocence Network, Brief Bank. Collection of briefs filed in innocence cases around the country, sorted by court and innocence issue.

Massachusetts cases and legislative developments. Sampling of recent Massachusetts cases addressing issues of concern in innocence cases, including DNA testing and flawed forensics.

Rule 30 of the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure. Massachusetts’ Rule providing Postconviction Relief.

Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 278A. Massachusetts’ new innocence law Providing Post-Conviction Access to Forensic and Scientific Analysis, eff. May 17, 2012.

M.G.L. Ch. 22E. State DNA Database.

515 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 1.00 Department of State Police,
Collection, Submission, Receipt, Identification, Storage, and Disposal of DNA Samples.

515 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 2.00 Department of State Police, Testing and Analysis, Quality Assurance, Computerized Storage, Retrieval, and Dissemination for the State DNA Database.

Forensic Science Resources

NAS Report National Academies Press, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward. Read a free downloadable copy of the 2009 NAS report.

Vance Report Final Report and Recommendations Regarding Vance’s Comprehensive Operational Assessment of the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory System, June 2007. Report details issues at the crime lab and makes several key recommendations.

National Institute for Justice Publications Searchable website containing PDF versions of publicly available NIJ publications.

DNA Resources

Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab DNA Unit & CODIS Unit

Boston Police Crime Lab

FBI fact sheet on CODIS (Combined DNA Indexing System) and NDIS (National DNA Indexing System)

Scientific Working Group for DNA The Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods, known as SWGDAM, serves as a forum to discuss, share, and evaluate forensic biology methods, protocols, training, and research to enhance forensic biology services as well as provide recommendations to the FBI Director on quality assurance standards for forensic DNA analysis.

DNA for the Defense Bar, NIJ publication, June 2012. Latest in a series of four National Institute for Justice publications designed to increase understanding of the science of DNA and its application in the courtroom.

National Institute for Justice: Forensics Page. Includes links to a large number of publications on forensic topics, including DNA. Offers a free online course entitled Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court with training modules addressing on many of the most challenging issues facing criminal practitioners in handing cases involving DNA evidence.

DenverDA DNA Resource. Pro-prosecution website that contains otherwise good and updated materials on evolving DNA case law and science.

John Butler, Short Tandem Repeat DNA Internet Database This website has detailed training information on DNA science, including technical information on loci/allelic sequences, primer binder region, and more.

 

Disclaimer
The CPCS Innocence Program is supported by Grants No. 2009-FA-BX-0037, 2013-DY-BX-K006, and 2014-DY-BX-K003 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.  The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Program, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the SMART Office, and the Office for Victims of Crime. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not represent the official position or policies of the United States Department of Justice.