Iowa Wrongful Conviction Division Receives Grant Money to Reopen Investigations

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Iowa’s Wrongful Conviction Division received grant money to reopen investigations. (WHO-HD)

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IOWA  --  Iowa's Wrongful Conviction Division is preparing to take on more cases of people who may not actually belong in prison.

The division received more than $600,000 in federal grant money.

Workers are currently examining cases that involve microscopic hair comparison--a forensic science that has been called into question.

The division started out with 184 lab reports and found 96 cases that need further review.

The New Wrongful Conviction Division Director, Ericha Nichols Cook, says the grant money will help them reopen investigations, hire consultants, pay for trial transcripts, and hire more attorneys.

"Significant effort and priority will be placed on determining whether the evidence in these cases still exists, and if the evidence is still in existence, such as the hair itself, we'll be able to test that using the grant funding, and the DNA testing may be able to exonerate the convicted individual or identify the real perpetrator, if that's necessary," said Cook.

The earliest case under review dates back to 1980.

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