For those who dont know the Innocence Project is a nonprofit group that works to exonerate wrongly convicted people using mostly DNA. However the examine the effectiveness of eye witness accounts and how wrong eye witness accounts lead to wrongful convictions.
The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist prisoners who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. To date, 245 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 17 who served time on death row. These people served an average of 13 years in prison before exoneration and release.
The Innocence Project’s full-time staff attorneys and Cardozo clinic students provide direct representation or critical assistance in most of these cases. The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is nothing less than to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.
I have always been interested in the work of the Innocence Project but recently I have become passionate about spreading the word about this amazing organization.
Most Americans live their lives blindly hoping to never encounter the judicial system. However, the truth is anyone can easily be wrongfully identified for a crime he/she did not commit. Without money and an exceptional lawyer it is difficult to beat the system that relies on the testimony of untruthful people. Through DNA many people have escaped the death penalty or life behind bars, but these exonerations don’t not come easy nor without years lost.
This is a subject I believe every American should know about and actively contribute to.