This hurts, but it could have been worse.
Panic ensued at the Innocence Project of Texas when a powerful Wall Street investor was arrested this month and accused of swindling investors out of $50 billion.
One of the organizations that had invested with Bernard Madoff was the JEHT Foundation, which funds post-conviction DNA tests for Dallas County inmates who claim they are innocent. Without the funding, the Innocence Project would be faced with trying to raise capital in a bad economy and those seeking tests could face indefinite delays, if the testing could be done at all.
But after a few days of concern, Innocence Project officials realized the money received so far – about $400,000 – was theirs to keep, said the organization’s executive director Natalie Roetzel. And while additional money promised for computers, staff and investigations won’t make its way to the Innocence Project, Ms. Roetzel said, “I think it’s going to turn out OK.”
Both Ms. Roetzel and Dallas County First Assistant District Attorney Terri Moore said there probably are enough funds to complete all the DNA testing. If not, Ms. Roetzel said, they will seek other grants and hold private fundraisers.
“The money should get us through what needs to be tested,” said Ms. Moore.
The demise of the JEHT Foundation was reported last week. I’m glad this part of their work will be able to run to completion. I hope something new will arise to continue with that work going forward.