Who We Help
Proving innocence is not easy and unfortunately, not always possible, even for those who are truly innocent. As such, if we do not choose to accept a case, it is not a reflection of our belief as to guilt or innocence.
What Cases do We Select?
We focus our efforts on those cases where we can use new evidence to prove innocence. Specifically, we will review cases using the following criteria:
- The person requesting assistance was convicted of a crime that took place in South Carolina.
- The person is in a prison in South Carolina.
- Given the length of time involved in pursuing these cases, the person has at least 36 months remaining to be served on his or her sentence.
- The person asserts actual innocence and no involvement in the crime for which the person is incarcerated.
- The appeals and post-conviction relief process have been completed.
- Innocence is feasibly provable based on forensic or biological evidence advances (such as DNA), key trial witness recantation (e.g. change in testimony), or other credible evidence substantially affecting the case result.
What Cases do We Not Take?
We do not accept cases where the individual has not been convicted. We also do not accept cases that are currently in appeal, post-conviction relief, or federal habeas. As our focus is on factual innocence, we also do not take cases in which an inmate is solely claiming that his or her rights have been violated. We cannot help prisoners file civil suits, do legal research, find names of other attorneys, or assist with other issues unrelated to the pursuit of exoneration by reason of actual innocence.
How to Apply
If you are interested in applying, please send a written request for an application to:
Palmetto Innocence Project
P.O. Box 11623
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
For logistical reasons and limited staffing, we are not able to discuss case applications or the initial application review phase on the telephone or in person.