The Montana Innocence Project considers written requests for assistance from Montana inmates who are innocent of crimes they have been convicted of. (The person requesting legal assistance must be the one to send the request.)
For your request to be considered, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have been convicted of a felony crime in a Montana state or federal court.
- You must have completed your trial, sentencing, and direct appeals.
- You must not currently be represented by an attorney or have access to a public defender.
- We give priority to cases where convincing and corroborating evidence can establish actual innocence, and we are unlikely to accept a case without independent and verifiable evidence to support the innocence claims.
We do not accept:
- Cases from prisoners who are an admitted accomplice, co-defendant, or co-conspirator, even if the role was relatively minor
- Cases where a person is only claiming that his or her rights were violated or that they were not adequately represented (actual innocence must be the central issue)
- Due to the difficulty of proving innocence in certain types of cases, we usually cannot assist in the event that:
- a defendant admits to killing or assaulting someone but claims it was done in self–defense
- a prisoner admits to sexual contact but claims the person consented to the contact
- a prisoner convicted as an accessory claims he or she did not play a major role in the crime
We do not:
- Assist inmates with filing civil suits, legal research, appealing to the Board of Pardons and Parole, or any other issues unrelated to actual innocence.
- Review cases based solely on information given by a friend or family member. The request must be made by the prisoner.
If you believe you meet these requirements, please send a letter to:
Montana Innocence Project
P.O. Box 7607
Missoula, MT 59807
Make sure to include:
- Your full name, inmate ID, and address
- Explain your case briefly, including information about the crime and where your case stands
- Explain what evidence can help establish your innocence. This can include DNA or other convincing forms of evidence; examples include recantation of victims and witnesses, evidence of an alibi, evidence of coercion to get the defendant to confess to the crime, or for the witness to offer evidence against the defendant