The project received funding in the amount of $150,640 from the department's Office of Justice Programs, Office for Civil Rights, under its Wrongful Prosecution Review Program. That program is designed to provide high quality and efficient representation for defendants in post-conviction claims of innocence.
The funding will enable the Arizona Justice Project, through its "Non-DNA Related Claims of Innocence and Wrongful Conviction Project," to extend its services to inmates who have exhausted other legal remedies. Carrie Sperling, a visiting associate clinical professor of law, is the clinic's executive director.The Arizona Justice Project was founded by Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and was among the first innocence projects that now number more than 40 across the country. It relies almost exclusively on the volunteer work of lawyers, investigators, experts and consultants. More than 2,500 cases have been reviewed, and about 50 are either in court or being evaluated at any one time. The cases have included actual innocence, overly harsh sentencing and ineffective assistance of counsel, among other issues.