Carrie Sperling, Executive Director of the Arizona Justice Project and Visiting Associate Clinical Professor of Law, will speak this week about the Justice Project at a symposium sponsored by the National Institute of Justice.
The Post Conviction DNA Case Management Symposium will be held Jan. 22-23, 2009, in Palm Harbor, Fla.
The purpose of the symposium is to bring together criminal justice practitioners from across the nation who can augment the development and implementation of post-conviction DNA testing assistance programs with their state and local jurisdictions.
Sperling will speak as part of a panel on Post Conviction DNA Testing Assistance Programs. The panel will highlight work being done by the first recipients of grants from the National Institute of Justice on the subject.
The Arizona Justice Project and the Arizona Attorney General's Office were awarded a $1.4 million grant from the NIJ for post-conviction DNA testing in cases of forcible rape, murder, and non-negligent manslaughter to demonstrate actual innocence. Under this grant, Arizona could become one of the first states in America to systematically and categorically identify inmates in which DNA might resolve questions about actual innocence, and then conduct the needed testing.
The panel will be chaired by Charles Heurich, program manger of the Investigative and Forensic Sciences Division, Office of Science and Technology, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
Other panelists include: Kent E. Cattani, chief counsel, Capital Litigation and Criminal Appeals, Arizona Attorney General's Office; Peter M. Marone, Director of the Virginia Department of Forensic Science in Richmond; Jacqueline McMurtrie, associate professor at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle; Gary G. Shutler, DNA Technical Leader, Crime Laboratory Division, Washington State Patrol in Seattle; Marguerite Thomas, Post Conviction Branch Manager, Department of Public Advocacy in Frankfort, KY; and Mary Anne Wiley, deputy general counsel, Office of the Governor in Austin, TX.