Freeing the innocent and preventing wrongful convictions worldwide
The Innocence Network is an affiliation of organizations dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted, working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions, and supporting the exonerated after they are freed.
Click the map below for information on Innocence Network member organizations around the world.
69 organizations from around the world working to exonerate unjustly convicted men and women, including independent nonprofits as well as organizations affiliated with law schools or other educational institutions, units of public defender offices, and pro bono sections of law firms.
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Recent news articles and media mentions from around the Innocence Network
Check out tweets and posts from this year’s Wrongful Conviction Day, where Innocence Network members organized to raise awareness of the causes and remedies of wrongful conviction, and recognize the tremendous personal, social, and emotional costs of wrongful conviction for innocent people and their families.
“His family believes his claim of innocence. We believe that he has a meritorious claim of innocence. We’re hoping that the DNA test shows that as well,” said Eric Haught with the West Virginia Innocence Project. Haught is talking about a DNA test that could come any day for Charles “Manny” Kilmer and lead to his re-sentencing or release.
Kilmer has been serving a life sentence without mercy for first-degree murder at the Mount Oliver Correctional Complex since the early 1990s. Kilmer is a veteran, and his health is failing, making the results of the test all the more critical. “He’s extremely elderly,” Haught explained. “He suffers from a variety of medical conditions. He suffers from a neurological disease that was brought on by his exposure to Agent Orange while he was fighting in Vietnam. We’re really hoping that these test results do not point to him.” Read more.
About 24 years after he was arrested for a murder he always insisted he didn’t commit, 43-year-old Shaurn Thomas walked out of a state prison as a free man shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday. A beaming Thomas — jailed since he was 19 — stopped at the front entrance of the Schuylkill County correctional facility with his lawyers; his fiancee, Stephonia Long; and family members for an impromptu news conference that felt a lot more like a victory party.
Just eight hours earlier in a Center City courtroom, his conviction for taking part in the 1990 murder of a Puerto Rican businessman in North Philadelphia had been thrown out after the District Attorney’s Office agreed with his lawyers that the evidence against him did not support his conviction. Read more.
Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent Client Andrew Wilson Reunites With His Mother After 32 Years
After 32 years of separation, a Florissant mother is reunited with her son, just in time for Mother’s Day. Andrew Wilson was released from a Los Angeles jail in March. LA County prosecutors rules that his original trial on charges of robbery and murder, was not a fair one. Now, he says his mom has waited long enough. And that he’s here in St. Louis to stay.
“Oh you can only imagine,” said Margie Davis, Wilson’s mother, when asked how it feels to be reunited with her son. Mother and son sat arm in arm after 3 long decades apart. “It’s great to be home and she’s plenty of fun, she keeps me going,” said Andrew Wilson. Wilson arrived home on Wednesday and says he’s committed to making up for lost time. Read more.
While wrongful conviction cases seem dramatic in Hollywood movies, the day-to-day reality is far from glamorous. It is more about inventorying “boxes upon boxes” of police documents, mounting court challenges to see a psychiatrist’s letter, and shuffling through musty file folders, said Tamara Levy, who has spent most of the last decade focused on this work. “It can be really tedious.”
The case of Phillip James Tallio, reported this week by Postmedia, has brought attention to the UBC Innocence Project at the Allard School of Law, which Levy co-founded in 2007. Tallio has been in jail since 1983 for the murder of a child. But since the beginning of his sentence, he has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence, according to the lawyers trying to appeal his conviction. Next month, Tallio’s case will go before a judge on the preliminary question of whether the court should consider the case. Read more.
After spending nearly 42 years in prison, 15,236 days, Juneal Pratt was granted parole. He assured members of the Nebraska Parole Board it was his intent to never give the state a reason to put him back in custody. In 1975 Pratt was convicted of rape and an unrelated purse snatching in Omaha. While in jail, he earned additional time for two escape attempts.
At an April 27 meeting, the Parole Board voted 3-1 to grant Pratt parole. From the day he was arrested, and in multiple unsuccessful court appeals, Pratt claimed he had been wrongly accused of the sexual assault. He had been eligible for parole since 2001, but his requests were denied, in part, because Pratt was unwilling to admit to the original crime. In recent years, the Nebraska Innocence Project spearheaded new efforts to clear Pratt’s name. Read more.
Partially buried within a package of bills signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback last week was a compromise between innocence groups and a law enforcement lobbyist that will require that police interrogations be recorded in the most serious of cases. Last year, passage of a bill requiring recorded interrogations for murder and felony sex cases looked impossible. This year, it looked inevitable, passing the Senate unanimously and passing the House by a vote of 115 to 9.
The difference between passage and defeat was Ed Klumpp, who represents several law enforcement groups. He and prosecutors opposed the idea last year as a costly legislative mandate on small Kansas law enforcement agencies. Read more.