This Fact Sheet of the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) reports on the features and data of BJA’s Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence Program, which supports postconviction DNA testing in cases of violent felonies where innocence might be demonstrated.
This report notes that although successful exonerations that correct injustice are notable program outcomes, the review, consideration, and closing of cases subjected to postconviction DNA testing that do not ultimately establish the innocence of a convicted person still serve the public interest of the fair application of justice. Specific tasks supported by program awards are 1) the identification of potential postconviction DNA-testing cases; 2) the review of appropriate postconviction cases to identify those in which DNA testing could prove the innocence of a person convicted of a violent felony; 3) the location of biological evidence associated with such postconviction cases; and 4) performance of DNA analysis of appropriate biological evidence. A graph shows the amount of funding for awards in each fiscal year for 2008-2020. There were 94 funded awards for this period, amounting to $64,678,592. A total of 54 exonerations resulted from the program. About 90,000 cases were reviewed, with about 250 DNA profiles uploaded into CODIS, and just over 50 CODIS hits. 1 figure and a BJA profile.