Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence (Postconviction) Program
Under the Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence (Postconviction) Program, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) provides funding to help defray the costs (e.g., of additional personnel, overtime, testing supplies and services) associated with postconviction DNA testing for violent felony offenses (as defined by state law) in which actual innocence might be demonstrated. This supports the DOJ mission “to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.” While successful exonerations to correct injustice are notable program outcomes, the careful review, consideration, and closing of cases subjected to postconviction DNA testing that do not ultimately demonstrate innocence also work to advance the public’s interest that justice has been fairly applied.
The program aims to assist in:
- Identifying potential postconviction DNA testing cases.
- Reviewing appropriate postconviction cases to identify those in which DNA testing could prove the actual innocence of a person convicted of a violent felony offense as defined by state law.
- Locating biological evidence associated with such postconviction cases.
- Performing DNA analysis of appropriate biological evidence and reporting and reviewing of the DNA test results.
To learn more about the Postconviction Program and potential funding opportunities, please visit Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence (Postconviction) Program.
Since the advent of forensic DNA analysis, a growing number of Americans convicted of violent crimes have been exonerated through DNA analysis of evidence that was untested at the time of trial. New technologies have increased the likelihood of successful DNA analysis of aged, degraded, limited, or otherwise compromised biological evidence. As a result, crime scene samples once thought unsuitable for testing may now yield viable DNA profiles. Moreover, samples that had previously generated inconclusive DNA results may be amenable to reanalysis using newer methods.
Key Performance Metrics
More than 170,000 cases reviewed
More than 300 profiles uploaded to CODIS
More than 100 CODIS hits
59 exonerations have resulted from this program
Map coming soon.