As the number of wrongful convictions continues to grow nationwide, the government has taken certain measures to try to identify cases where a wrongful conviction may have occurred. The development of DNA testing technology, as well as the advancements of other scientific, medical, and forensic disciplines, has shed light on the flaws and uncertainty of other forensic disciplines that were used for decades by the criminal justice system, but have proven to be more inaccurate than once known. In 2012, the DOJ sought the assistance of the Innocence Project and the NACDL to work collaboratively on a Hair Microscopy Review Project (fully explained below). In 2013, the DOJ again sought the assistance of NACDL to recruit pro bono counsel for the benefit of defendants whose cases fell within a 1996 DOJ review of the FBI Crime Lab and may have been affected by flawed forensic evidence.
This page serves as a blueprint for NACDL’s post-conviction projects. Extensive information about our initiatives and links to tools can be found on the following pages.
The National Academies of Science, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward (2009)
NACDL, Principles and Recommendations to Strengthen Forensic Evidence and Its Presentation in the Courtroom (2010)
Jennifer Freidman, A Path Forward: Where Are We Now? (2012)
Senior Resource Counsel