Innocence Project

The West Virginia Innocence Project brings together third-year law students and law school faculty and is dedicated to post-conviction litigation and policy reform. The Project, which serves those incarcerated in either state or federal prison in West Virginia, investigates potential cases and provides free legal representation to individuals with meritorious claims of innocence. It also advocates for systemic reforms including the implementation of safeguards designed to ensure that the wrong individuals are not convicted based on mistaken eyewitness identification of flawed forensic techniques.

The original Innocence Project was created in 1992 by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld at Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York City. The goal of the project was to use DNA testing to exonerate wrongly convicted people. Other projects within the Innocence Network, including the WVIP, now take select cases where DNA testing is unavailable. As of today, there are 46 U.S. states represented in the Innocence Network as well as several different countries.

To request help from the West Virginia Innocence Project, prisoners must complete the Application for Assistance. Download it here.

If you are unable to download our application, you may request a copy by calling (304) 293-7249, or by writing to us at the following address:

West Virginia Innocence Project
West Virginia University
College of Law
P.O. Box 6130
Morgantown, WV 26506.

Those contacting the West Virginia Innocence Project are requested to submit only the application. We will ask applicants for additional information and materials if and when we need them.

Students use forensic science to over turn convictions

The WVIP filed motions for post-conviction relief in two separate cases where parents were wrongfully convicted of killing their children based on flawed forensic science. In both cases, medical experts have uncovered the true and accidental cause of the toddler’s death, revealing that the accused did not harm the child. The court will hold an evidentiary hearing in 2016 for one of these cases

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