Tuesday, October 2, 2007
The School of Law at Wake Forest University is beginning a DNA Innocence Project for the 2007-2008 academic year. The Forsyth County Bar Association recently began a project to identify prisoners who might benefit from DNA testing to demonstrate their innocence, and received so many requests that the Bar Association asked for help from Wake Forest law students. The law school agreed to manage the project, under the auspices of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence.
This academic year, volunteer law students will work with defense attorneys, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers to identify cases that qualify for DNA testing. District Attorney Tom Keith has agreed to request such testing for cases that the volunteer students and attorneys recommend to him.
This arrangement -- combining the efforts of law students, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and law enforcement officers – makes this Wake Forest DNA Innocence Project unique. After this special project to address the backlog of DNA testing requests from Forsyth County, the Wake Innocence Project in future academic years will continue to investigate potential claims of actual innocence, based on any type of reliable evidence. [Mark Godsey]