A UW-Madison law group – that clears those who’ve been wrongfully convicted – is getting a big boost from more than a million dollars in federal grants. Until now the Wisconsin Innocence Project has worked on exonerating individuals following their conviction or appeal, sometimes after spending years wrongfully imprisoned.
Codirector Keith Findley says the money will be used to place a special attorney in the state public defender’s office. This will help clear the innocent, “sooner after the conviction, indeed I hope even before conviction.”
The Innocence Project specializes in using DNA testing in which some of the grant dollars will be used. Findley also says much of money will be used to replenish the cost of recent staff positions they’ve added, in a time when existing grant money was set to expire.
A start date for the attorney in the defenders office has not been set but will likely be in the next few months.