Innocence Commissions: Systemic Reform for Systemic Problems
First Annual Benefit Honors Exonerees and Others
The Innocence Project In The News
Click here to invite your friends, family and colleagues to sign up for our e-mail updates.
A new report released last week chronicles the 200 exonerations.
Of the 200 Exonerees:
27% were 21 years old or younger when they were convicted.
77% were convicted, at least in part, based on eyewitness identification.
25% falsely confessed to a crime they didn't commit.
We welcome your feedback. Please contact us at the address below. Cases for review must be submitted via postal mail.
If this e-mail doesn't display correctly, click here to view it on our website.
When Innocence Project client Jerry Miller was exonerated in Chicago after serving 24 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, he became the 200th person exonerated through DNA evidence natonwide. And with your support he will not be the last.
The 200 exonerees served a total of nearly 2,500 years — about a million nights — in prison. Since so few cases involve the kind of evidence that can be subjected to DNA testing, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Moments after Jerry Miller walked out of a Chicago courtroom last week, the Innocence Project launched a month-long campaign to mark the 200th DNA exoneration by engaging broad public support for preventing wrongful convictions.
You can participate in this campaign by raising awareness about wrongful convictions and reforms to prevent them. A special section of our website launched this week includes a new report on the 200 people exonerated, video interviews with exonerees and background on reforms critical to fixing the criminal justice system in the United States. We add new content every day, and we have resources available to help you hold events in your community. Visit the special section at www.innocenceproject.org/200.
The 200 DNA exonerations underscore the reality that the problem of wrongful convictions is not isolated and the solutions are not simple. The Innocence Project recommends that states create innocence commissions to identify the causes of wrongful conviction and develop reforms based on solid science and best practices. Six states — California, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — have already created these commissions, and seven other states have bills in their state legislatures to create these important bodies. The Texas Senate approved a bill last week to create a state Innocence Commission, and Pennsylvania's 40-member commission recently met for the first time. Learn more about how DNA exonerations have sparked these and other critical reforms.
Last week, the Innocence Project held the first annual Celebration of Freedom & Justice in New York City, commemorating the 200th exoneration nationwide and honoring several individuals and organizations for their important work on behalf of the wrongfully convicted.
Calvin Johnson, who served 15 years in Georgia prisons for a crime he didn't commit (above right, with Innocence Project Co-Director Peter Neufeld) was honored. Watch video from the event and read more about the honorees.
The nation's attention this month is focused on the causes of wrongful convictions and the 200 DNA exonerations to date. Click on the links below to read, watch and listen to just a couple highlights of national media coverage of the 200th exoneration and ongoing reform efforts. And visit our "200 Exonerated" website to read more media coverage from your area, updated every day.