Innocence Blog

Innocence Network's Champion of Justice Helps Prevent Wrongful Convictions

Posted: May 6, 2010 2:30 am


Recently retired Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Detective Jim Trainum became invested in reforming the criminal justice system and preventing wrongful convictions when he obtained a false confession at the beginning of his career. 

In an interview yesterday with MyFox in D.C., he said he made a major mistake during one of his first big cases (video after the jump).  It was a high-profile homicide case and Trainum got tunnel vision and would later find out he obtained a false confession.  After discovering this serious mistake, he wanted to learn about how errors can occur and he wanted to present what happened to law enforcement to make sure they didn’t repeat his mistakes. 





Last month, Trainum was awarded the Innocence Network’s Champion of Justice Award for his efforts to combat wrongful convictions.  The Innocence Network is an affiliation of organizations dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove their innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted and working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions. 

He has also helped with physical evidence searches, something that paid off this year when Donald Gates was exonerated after 28 years in prison for the 1981 rape and murder of a Georgetown student.  Trainum helped find the evidence. 

When asked about Donald Gates, Trainum said he can’t help but think about all of the other people sitting behind bars for crimes they did not commit.  Although he said the system is starting to turn around, Trainum believes there are a lot more wrongful convictions than anyone is aware of. 

For more information about the Network, click here.

Read about Donald Gates’ case here.  




Tags: Donald Gates