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Four Key Steps the Obama Administration Took to Protect Innocent People

By Madeline deLone, Executive Director of the Innocence Project

As we near the final days of the Obama administration, we’d like to extend a special thank you to President Obama, the executive staff, the leaders throughout the federal agencies and a bipartisan Congress for supporting policies to protect the innocent and to help people exonerated of wrongful convictions to rebuild their lives. Some of the notable accomplishments that we have supported over the past four years include:

  • Strengthening forensic science by establishing the National Commission on Forensic Science to “promote scientific validity, reduce fragmentation, and improve federal coordination of forensic science,” and expanding research programs at federal agencies including National Institute of Standards and Technology, which has taken a leadership role in setting standards for how forensic disciplines should be used;
  • Reauthorization of the Justice for All Act, which improves access to post-conviction DNA testing in federal cases and reauthorizes federal funding for programs that help reveal and remediate wrongful convictions;
  • Passage of the Wrongful Conviction Tax Relief Act of 2015 which bars federal taxation of compensation awarded to individuals who have been wrongfully convicted; and
  • Convening the President’s Task Force on 21th Century Policing, which included several recommendations to strengthen community policing to protect the innocent including, encouraging police to adopt scientifically supported eyewitness identification procedures, urging law enforcement agencies to acknowledge their role in injustices and discrimination and promoting training to recognize and confront implicit bias.

While these were major accomplishments, there is still much work to be done. We look forward to working with the new administration and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to continue our important work.  It is critical that we ensure that all forensic disciplines are backed by the best science and governed by meaningful standards, that the wrongly convicted have broad access to the courts to prove their innocence and that those exonerated of crimes which they didn’t commit are supported in their efforts to rebuild their lives.

2 Comments

  1. President Obama my son is 21 yrs. Old and has been convicted of murder that he was not responsible he was hit in the back of the head with a bat stabbed almost lost 4 fingers on 1 hand this all took place at the bottom of our back porch he almost lost them fingers taking the knife from the victim is 2 separate gangs that were a part of this I truly believed my son would get off on self-defense I spent 14,000 on a lawyer my son is mentally impaired his IQ is at the low end of being mentally retarded my head is just spun with our judicial system I know now there r innocent people in prison and my son is 1 of them his mentality is about 14 yrs. and he barely weighs over 100 pounds please President if you read any of your messages at at all please read mine. Sincerely yours Mrs. Suzanne Salinas I can be reached at 517)894-9098

  2. chris hollund

    president Obama,my name is chris hollund and I live in Faribault Minnesota.January 10,i received a visit from two FBI agents at my place of work.They said they were here to take away my guns because of a court case in 2002.They could not tell me anymore about it or what I had done.I showed them the letter dated may 2007 that is from the FBI granting me a unique pin number to speed the process of obtaining firearms which I collect.these so-called agents had never seen such a letter and had no idea what a pin number was.They stripped me of my permit as well as all my firearms and said someone would get in touch with me in a day or 2,no response yet.They said you passed SOME new rules quickly in the past couple of weeks regarding records of individuals.I had emailed the FBI about a month ago to try and find out why I was put on delay to purchase firearms and I received nothing,not even we will get back to you response.UNTIL they showed up at my work.I HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG and have went through alcohol treatment in 2002 completed and proud to say I am sober and a model citizen and very hard-working person.Most of my problems in life stemmed from alcohol and being upset with a broken child support system in the 1990s that did not care if you lived in a cardboard box you had to work and pay or go to jail.I let the booze rule my decisions and one I sout help was able to put the negatives behind me and move on.I KNOW YOU MAY NEVER SEE OR CARE ABOUT MY STORY, but I watched you pardon criminals ,cutting time-off sentences,just wondered if you could look at my story and understand what has happened here.THANK YOU!.Chris Hollund, 507 330 3431 Faribault mn.55021

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