General

A prosecutor, a scientist and a criminal defense lawyer walk into a bar….

Aimee Maxwell, Executive Director

No, that’s not really how we created our groundbreaking partnership with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia (PAC).

In early 2012, I approached GBI and PAC with the idea of applying for a two-year federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice. The grant was the Kirk Bloodsworth Postconviction DNA Testing Grant Program. which helps states defray the cost of handling innocence claims involving post-conviction DNA testing.

Together, we created a unique grant application which addressed three different issues: (1) possible innocence claims revealed by CODIS hits; (2) possible innocence claims involving evidence in the GBI evidence vault; and (3) other innocence claims discovered through case investigation. (I’ll provide more information about each of these issues in upcoming blogs.)

Would you like to see the application? Click here. (Please let me know if this link does not work.)

Our partnership with GBI and PAC has been amazing. Each of us worked cooperatively to ensure that everyone received the information we needed to complete our tasks and to create the processes we needed to achieve the goals of our project.

The commitment to justice demonstrated by GBI and PAC surprised me. I have to admit that I didn’t really believe that prosecutors and crime lab folks really worried about innocent folks in prison. I was wrong. In Georgia, at least among our grant partners, innocence matters.

This collaborative effort should be a model for other states. Justice will be served. We did it in Georgia.

Next blog:  more about the CODIS project.

In the meantime, try to stay warm.