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Recent Training Materials:
- Burdens of Proof Under G.L. c. 278A [PDF]: A one-page cheat sheet for M.G.L. 278A.
- Primer on Litigating Rule 30 New Trial Motions[PDF]: Updated litigation guide on key post-conviction innocence legal claims.
General Information: Wrongful Convictions and Exonerations
- Innocence Project: Exoneree profiles and resources on key issues.
- Wrongful Convictions Blog: Recent US and international developments.
- National Registry of Exonerations: Exoneree database run by University of Michigan Law and Northwestern Law.
- Convicting the Innocent: DNA Exonerations Database: Database by Brandon Garrett at University of Virginia Law.
- Getting it Right: Videos by Brandon Garrett and the Innocence Project.
Quick Reference Guides: Causes of Wrongful Convictions
Our work has identified key issues which contribute to defendants being convicted of crimes they did not commit. Trial and appellate attorneys can download or print our one-page Quick Reference primers (back and front) for a jump start understanding the these issues, identifying them before trial, and litigating motions for new trial. Each guide includes links to further resources.
Briefs, Legislation, and Case Law
- Innocence Network Brief Bank: Briefs filed in innocence cases around the country
- Rule 30 of the Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure: Massachusetts rule providing post-conviction relief.
- M.G.L. Ch. 278A: Massachusetts law providing “Post-Conviction Access to Forensic and Scientific Analysis.”
- M.G.L. Ch. 22E: State DNA Database.
- 515 CMR 1.00: Collection, submission, receipt, identification, storage, and disposal of DNA samples.
- 515 CMR 2.00: Testing and analysis, quality assurance, computerized storage, retrieval, and dissemination for the state DNA database.
Forensic Science Publications
- NAS Report [PDF]: National Academies Press, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward (2009).
- Vance Report [PDF]: Vance’s Comprehensive Operational Assessment of the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory System (2007).
- National Institute for Justice Publications: Searchable database of PDF publications.
- 2016 PCAST Report on Forensic Science [PDF]: President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology recommends actions to strengthen forensic science and promote its more rigorous use in the courtroom.
- 2013 NIST Report on Best Practices for Evidence Handlers [PDF]: National Institute of Standards and Technology guide.
- Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab: DNA Unit and CODIS Unit
- Boston Police Crime Lab
- FBI Fact Sheet: CODIS (Combined DNA Indexing System) and NDIS (National DNA Indexing System)
- Scientific Working Group for DNA (SWGDAM): Serves to discuss, share, and evaluate forensic biology methods, protocols, training, and research.
- DNA for the Defense Bar, Department of Justice (2012): The science of DNA and its application in the courtroom.
- Forensics, National Institute of Justice: Publications and free online courses (e.g. Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court).
- Short Tandem Repeat DNA Internet Database: Training information on DNA science, including technical information on loci/allelic sequences and primer binder regions.
CPCS Forensic Services Unit
For more forensics resources, visit the CPCS Forensic Services Unit.