We knew that this new DNA technology would not only prove people guilty, but also prove people innocent.
It’s about freeing as many innocent people as possible, addressing systemic issues, and giving back life and liberty.
In 1988, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld told me, '[DNA] will revolutionize the criminal justice system.'
Building the case for innocence, story by story.
The exonerations of Ronald Jones, Rolando Cruz and others who served time on death row in Illinois led to Governor George Ryan issuing a moratorium on death sentences in 1999. Three years later, Governor Ryan gained national attention when he commuted the sentences of more than 160 people. That same year, then little-known Illinois state senator Barack Obama introduced a mandatory recording of interrogations bill that became law. And the momentum continued to grow.
The execution of a legally and factually innocent person would be a constitutionally intolerable event.
Spurring multifaceted reform.
Over the years, we’ve worked at the local, state and federal level to enhance the reliability and accuracy of evidence used in criminal cases. Proving people innocent through DNA forced the reexamination of the system and practice of all actors—judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, police officers and forensic practitioners. With each exoneration, a life is restored, a family is reunited and often the person who actually committed the crime is identified.
The Innocence Project has been a leader in the expansion of the Innocence Network from a handful of tiny like-minded organizations to an international movement.
© 2017 Innocence Project - Website by Madeo