BOISE -- Starting January 1st, the Idaho Innocence Project will lose its primary source of funding and will have to drastically scale down its case load.
Of 38 applicants for U.S. Justice Department grants, only eight were accepted and the Idaho Innocence Project was not one of them.
The group, which uses DNA evidence to help free wrongfully convicted people, has been operating under a 2-year, $220,000 grant. That grant runs out at the end of the year.
Director Greg Hampikian tells KTVB that 2014 "will be a lean year, to say the least."
Hampikian says he is now working on some independent fundraising to keep the project running. But, he said, they've already had to lay off a lawyer and a legal assistant.
Until more funding is secured, the group does not plan to take on new cases, but they will continue to work on current cases for Sarah Pearce and Chris Tapp.
Pearce was convicted in the 2003 attack on a woman along Interstate 84. Tapp was convicted in 1996 of murdering an Idaho Falls woman. In both cases, the Innocence Project says they have DNA evidence that points to other suspects and excludes their clients.