Because RMIC has limited resources and relies mostly on volunteers, we can consider only a very small number of cases. In order for us to consider a case:
- The prisoner must have been convicted of a serious felony in Nevada, Utah, or Wyoming
- The prisoner must have more than seven years left on his/her prison sentence
- The prisoner’s trial and direct appeals must be finished
- The prisoner must be completely innocent (no involvement whatsoever in the crime)
- Significant new evidence must be available to prove the prisoner’s innocence
RMIC also cannot consider the following cases: cases of self-defense; cases of consensual sex; and cases in which the prisoner was involved as an accessory or a party-to-the-crime and claims he/she did not play a major role in the crime. If the prisoner’s conviction was child sexual assault, there must be DNA evidence available to help prove innocence or the victim must have changed his or her claim against the prisoner. Also, RMIC cannot take a prisoner’s case if he/she is serving a lengthy sentence for another, unrelated conviction, and exoneration on the conviction for which the prisoner is innocent would not free him/her from prison.
If the prisoner’s case meets these criteria, we will send a questionnaire asking for details about the crime, investigation, conviction, appeals, and evidence of innocence. RMIC’s Case Oversight Committee screens completed questionnaires and decides whether the case presents a provable claim of actual innocence and should be investigated.
Trained and supervised law students conduct the factual investigations into those cases that meet RMIC’s criteria and are accepted for investigation. These investigations include reconstructing and analyzing the case record, cataloging and locating key physical evidence and witnesses, conducting in-depth prisoner and witness interviews of the prisoner, and developing litigation strategies and documents. Students meet weekly as part of the Innocence Clinic to determine the best course of action on particular cases.
If the student investigation uncovers substantial new evidence of innocence, RMIC’s Case Oversight Committee votes to move the case into litigation and recruits a volunteer attorney to assist in a post-conviction action for exoneration and release.
Prisoners seeking assistance should write to RMIC at the mailing address below and request a Screening Questionnaire/Waiver be sent to him or her:
Rocky Mountain Innocence Center
358 South 700 East, B235
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Or a Screening Cover Letter and Screening Questionnaire/Waiver, in English or Spanish, can be downloaded below. Please print the Screening Cover Letter and Screening Questionnaire/Waiver, and give them to the prisoner to complete and return to RMIC at the same mailing address above.