Ohio launches new non-DNA innocence initiative

AP News
Posted: Nov 19, 2009 2:08 PM

Ohio's top public defender is taking on a rare challenge: accepting cases of convicted criminals who say they're innocent but don't have the DNA to prove it.

The Ohio Public Defender's Wrongful Conviction Project is one of just a handful of innocence groups nationally devoted full time to non-DNA cases.

The project will review claims of inmates who say they didn't do it and who were convicted on such evidence as bite marks, alleged arson and eyewitness testimony.

State Public Defender Tim Young says the success of DNA exoneration has convinced him there are more innocent people behind bars.

Similar projects in New York and Michigan handle only non-DNA cases but few other groups do so. Proving innocence without DNA can mean months or years of investigation.