Innocence Program Overview

              
In 2005 the Texas Legislature directed the Commission to contract with the four public law schools in Texas to operate innocence projects. These projects organize law students who work with attorneys to review claims of actual innocence from Texas inmates.

History & Structure of the TIDC Innocence Program

How to Make an Innocence Claim (Please note that the Commission does not provide legal services.)

The Innocence Projects provide Texas law students with opportunities to gain practical experience that enhances their legal education and skills while serving the public interest and earning law school credit.

Participating Innocence Projects

In addition to these programs, several other innocence projects are operating in Texas.  Information on other innocence projects can be found on the website of the Innocence Network, a national organization of innocence projects, at www.innocencenetwork.org.

In addition to supporting the innocence projects, Texas has undertaken other efforts to respond to wrongful convictions and improve the criminal justice system. These include:

The Texas Criminal Justice Integrity Unit
The Timothy Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions
The Texas Forensic Science Commission
Eyewitness Identification Procedures Model Policy

Shared Case Database

In 2007 the Criminal Justice Division of the Office of the Governor provided a grant to create a shared case database for the projects to use to facilitate collaboration and reduce the risk of duplicative work at the various projects.  The database is administered by the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University (PPRI), and provides access to innocence project caseload statistics and other workload measures. Link to PPRI for Caseload Statistics

The Need the Program Addresses

Program Impact: Exonerations of Texas Innocence Project Clients

Statutory Exoneration Reports

The Process of Overturning a Wrongful Conviction

Law Student Experiences

Annual Reports of Participating Innocence Projects: