The University of Missouri School of Law will use a $500,000 grant from the Department of Justice to help the Midwest Innocence Project work through a backlog of cases in five Midwestern states, the university stated in a news release.
The grant will pay for case reviews involving Missourians convicted on eyewitness testimony and for whom DNA testing might now prove their innocence. The two-year grant will cover the cost of staff and case expenses needed to help MU law students and the innocence project review 190 eyewitness cases identified in Missouri, beginning with 55 cases originating in St. Louis.
“What makes this grant so helpful is that there are a significant number of cases of possible eyewitness misidentifications that need investigation, especially in Missouri,” Rod Uphoff, professor emeritus at the law school, said in a news release.
The university stated in the news release that it is committed to the Innocence Clinic and will seek out more funding to continue its work beyond the two years financed by the grant.
The law school and the Midwest Innocence Project have been working together for about 10 years, the release stated.