Searching for a Needle in a Haystack: Tales of and From Indiana's Innocence Project

Marla Sandys, Indiana University, Bloomington
Sara Walsh, Indiana University
Fran Hardy, Indiana Univ. Purdue Univ. - Indianapolis

There can be no greater injustice than serving time for a crime that one did not commit. Innocence Projects are being created across the country with the express purpose of assisting those falsely accused to obtain their freedom. This paper will describe the Indiana experience in developing an Innocence Project. Special attention will be paid to the growing pains of structuring a collaborative project between a Law School and a Department of Criminal Justice. Additional topics to be addressed include developing an effective screening procedure; the trials and tribulations of maintaining databases, and; preliminary findings regarding the substance of the pleas for assistance. Early steps in the investigative process will also be discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006