“I was fresh out of the joint, a free man, when Mark Godsey of the Ohio Innocence Project asked if I’d be interested in playing music at the conference,” Raymond Towler, who spent 29 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, explained.
“It was well known that I was a musician my whole time of incarceration and continuing that was a priority in my life,” said Towler.
“Singing songs geared around the work that had been done to free so many men and women around the country was so fulfilling that the core of the first show decided to stay together and do just that as long as we could,” Towler continued.
Six years later, The Exoneree Band remains together, playing at the Innocence Network Conference each year and even touring around the U.S. in music staples like The House of Blues. On November 9th, they performed in front of a crowd of over 500 Innocence Project supporters for the annual young professionals’ fundraiser in New York City.
Watch the video from the evening below and look out for their first album in 2018.
A new Broadway play, Lobby Hero, puts the tensions of our injustice American criminal justice system front and center. Read a compelling review of the play by guest blogger Innocence Project Staff Attorney Dana Delger.
“It makes you really wonder what would the feelings on exoneration be, and how many would we see, if there were more of these organizations,” said Barbara O’Brien, a law professor at Michigan State University and the editor of the registry.