LOS ANGELES – The Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Project for the Innocent (LPI) has been named the recipient of a competitive quarter-million dollar grant by the U.S. Department of Justice for its ongoing advocacy efforts.
The $223,500 grant will allow the LPI to hire additional staff to investigate and litigate on behalf of defendants who were wrongfully convicted. The new LPI members – an attorney and investigator — will join a team that includes Legal Director Paula Mitchell, Program Director Adam Grant, founder Laurie Levenson and a team of student advocates.
“This grant is a wonderful opportunity to expand our services to the hundreds of individuals who have written to us claiming that they are innocent,” said Levenson. “We are thrilled and honored that the Department of Justice has made it possible for the LPI to grow so that we can fulfill our mission of helping all individuals who may have been wrongfully convicted.”
The Justice Department grant comes from the Wrongful Conviction Review Program, part of the Bureau of Justice Assistance in the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs. The initiative supports organizations that provide representation to potentially wrongfully convicted defendants with innocent claims. LPI secured the coveted grant after a lengthy application process in which it demonstrated its objectives could effectively be met with the DOJ funds.
“Pursuing claims of wrongful conviction is resource-intensive. Our students, attorneys and investigators spend countless hours interviewing, researching and writing claims in support of our clients,” said Mitchell, noting that the timeline for success is often measured in years, not months. “Being attorneys for others is not easy, and we are grateful to have the Justice Department’s support.”
In addition to receiving the new grant, LPI has launched a Campaign for Justice to fund the Kash Register Fellowship. The new fellowship was created by former client and exoneree Kash Delano Register, who spent 34 years in prison for a murder he did not commit before LPI students and attorneys secured his release in 2013.
About the Loyola Project for the Innocent
The Project for the Innocent (LPI) pursues claims of actual innocence on behalf of those wrongfully convicted of crimes. Students work under the supervision of founder Laurie Levenson, David W. Burcham Professor of Ethical Advocacy; Legal Director Paula Mitchell; Program Director Adam Grant; and other supervising attorneys. Since 2011, the LPI has secured the release of six clients who collectively served more than 100 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. They include Marco Contreras (2017 release after 20 years in prison), Andrew Leander Wilson (2017 release after 32 years in prison), Kash Delano Register (2013 release after 34 years in prison) and Obie Anthony (2011 release after 17 years in prison). Learn more at www.lls.edu/LPI.
About Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Located on an award-winning Frank Gehry-designed campus in downtown Los Angeles, Loyola Law School is home to prominent faculty, dedicated students and cutting-edge programs. The Law School strives to instill in students the knowledge they need to excel on their chosen paths. It dedicates itself to preparing students for the rigors of practice with an extensive portfolio of practical-training opportunities, a 17,000-strong alumni network and a focus on social justice. Learn more at www.lls.edu.