Tuesday, November 16, 2010

UIS Downstate Innocence Project gets $687K grant

The Downstate Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois Springfield has been awarded a $687,448 grant — one of the largest in the school’s history — to help pay for DNA testing.

“This gives us the opportunity to examine cases that haven’t received resources before,” said Bill Clutter, director of investigations for the project. “It gives us resources to investigate requests we previously had to just file away.”

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., helped facilitate the grant, which was obtained with the support of the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership.

The project initially will focus on 30 cases out of more than 400 requests received, said Larry Golden, director of the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project and a UIS professor. Those 30 or so cases — including two locally — will be further reviewed to determine if evidence can be tested or retested for DNA and if the likelihood is that the person convicted of the crime actually is innocent.

The grant was featured in a November 16, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article