New NUS student-led initiative to give "safety net of last resort" to those in jail

Wrongfully convicted individuals sentenced to jail terms and seemingly out of options now have a "safety net of last resort", under a new initiative by the National University of Singapore (NUS) Criminal Justice Club.

Called the Innocence Project, the law student-run initiative launched on Friday will identify them and help refer them to lawyers to take up their cases pro bono.

The project aims to complement the criminal justice system here by picking up cases of wrongful conviction, said NUS law professor Michael Hor. "Experience from other jurisdictions and our own demonstrates these are a real possibility even with the best designed criminal justice processes," he said

These individuals must either apply, or be referred to the initiative by the Law Society of Singapore. Student members will process their application and check if they are factually innocent of the offence they were convicted of, and have exhausted their avenues of appeal within the court system. They must also have served or be serving a prison term. The Innocence Project currently has 38 students on board. It processed six cases over the University semester which just ended.

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