IPTX Recipient of Grant from the Texas Bar Foundation Press Release
April 25, 2019
Innocence Project of Texas Awarded $25,000 by Texas Bar Foundation “Deadline DNA: reviewing post-conviction cases before evidence gets destroyed”
The Innocence Project of Texas (IPTX) is honored to be the recent recipient of a generous grant provided by the Texas Bar Foundation.
IPTX, based in Ft. Worth, is the leading non-profit in Texas providing first-class legal and investigative services to those who have been wrongfully convicted.
Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $20 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation’s largest charitably-funded bar foundation.
The grant, awarded in April, 2019, provides $25,000 to IPTX for a “second look” into 1980s-1990s criminal cases with the Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) in Dallas County, Texas. IPTX will be providing their extensive expertise to the county, to help determine which cases may merit DNA testing and subsequent pro-bono legal representation from IPTX before evidence gets destroyed by the Dallas County District Clerk according to law.
In the 1980s and 1990s, thousands of people were convicted in Dallas County. Hundreds of those convictions may not have ever happened were those cases tried today due to the progression of both science and criminal justice reform.
As a result of such progression, prosecution offices across the country began examining the integrity of the convictions they obtained in an effort to ensure that true justice was and is, in fact, served.
Mike Ware, Executive Director of the Innocence Project of Texas, said “We want to lend the expertise of our staff and our board pro-bono attorneys as the leaders in state post-conviction work to this urgent need in Dallas County.”
Cynthia Garza, Conviction Integrity Unit Chief for the Dallas County District Attorney’s office said, “The award of the Texas Bar Foundation grant to the Innocence Project of Texas will not only continue to foster our collaborative efforts to tackle actual innocence cases, but it also will ultimately help those who may not otherwise be able to afford counsel to represent their interests.”
IPTX Director Ware summarized, “This grant will benefit the entire Dallas County Community by ensuring fair and effective justice, as when an innocent person is freed, there is the possibility to work to get the actual perpetrator behind bars, and that makes people across the region safer.”