Branstad created division to focus on wrongful convictions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Branstad created division to focus on wrongful convictions

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Gov. Terry Branstad is creating a special division in Iowa's public defender's office that will focus on wrongful convictions.

Branstad and State Public Defender Adam Gregg announced the new division Monday. The division will initially review cases that used flawed hair analysis testimony.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department and FBI announced that nearly every examiner in the FBI Laboratory's microscopic hair comparison unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants for more than 20 years before 2000.

Gregg says that announcement was a motivation for creating the division. The state has hired Audrey McGinn, who previously worked for the California Innocence Project, to head the division. She will work with the Iowa Innocence Project and the Midwest Innocence Project.

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