About the Innocence Network

About Us

The Innocence Network is an affiliation of 67 organizations from all over the world dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted, and working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions. Currently, the Innocence Network consists of 55 U.S. based and 12 non-U.S. based organizations.

The majority of the Innocence Network’s members are based in the United States and are mainly focused on criminal justice reform in the United States, but the Network also includes non-U.S. organizations that meet its membership criteria. The Network maintains an International Committee, and we strongly encourage the development of sister networks across the world, such as Red Inocente, recognizing them as critically important partners in this work globally.

Please contact the Innocence Network Support Unit with any questions about Network membership or the membership process. If you are seeking legal assistance, please contact the Network member in your area.

Important Note: the Innocence Network Support Unit does not review claims of innocence. If you or a family member are reaching out with an inquiry for legal help or assistance, please click here to find an Innocence Network member organization in your area.


 

Network Statement on Exoneree Rights

As advocates for exonerees, we recognize the great need to make their transition easier by enhancing the availability of and access to the necessary assistance and resources. We are committed to that effort and believe exonerees should have the right to the following resources and services upon their release from prison, as needed or desired by the exoneree.

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Network Statement Concerning Victims

In seeking the exoneration of innocent individuals who have been convicted of crimes, the Network is acutely aware that our representation may understandably concern victims of those crimes, as well as family and friends of those victims. We recognize that our involvement in many cases may create pain or anguish. Although these consequences are unintended, the Innocence Network seeks to minimize them, while remaining devoted to its mission to exonerate innocent individuals and reform the system. In so doing, the Network believes that it shares several fundamental values with victims.

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History  

The advent of new DNA testing methods in the early 1990s gave rise to a number of organizations dedicated to proving claims of innocence that had been almost impossible to prove without DNA. As research on the causes of wrongful convictions, including eyewitness misidentification and false confessions, proliferated, claims of innocence based on non-DNA evidence were on the rise, as were the number of innocence organizations, largely housed in law schools in clinical programs. By 2000, there were 10 programs that met in Chicago for what would be the first Innocence Network Conference, now held annually each spring.

In 2004, the member organizations decided to define their association as a loosely affiliated network. A group of organization directors developed a planning committee to create membership criteria and a structure to guide the work of the members. The first 15 official members of the Network were admitted in November 2005, and a Network Executive Board was established.

Over the last fifteen years, the Network has more than quadrupled in size with members in the United States as well as Australia, Canada, Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Taiwan, Argentina, South Africa, Italy, and France. Its members include independent nonprofits as well as organizations affiliated in varying degrees with law schools or other educational institutions, units of public defender offices, and pro bono sections of law firms.


Job Openings at Network Organizations

Assistant Public Defender 2 – Wrongful Conviction Project at the Ohio Public Defenders Office

2/28/2020 Assistant Public Defender 2  Job Description  Primary Location United States of America-OHIO-Franklin County Organization Public Defender Commission Classified Indicator: Unclassified Bargaining Unit / Exempt: Exempt Schedule Full-time Compensation: $17.89 – $50.98 Unposting Date Mar 10, 2020 Job Function Attorney/Legal  Agency Contact Name: Cherish Berry  Agency Contact Information: cherish.berry@opd.ohio.gov  Assistant Public Defender 2(190007WE)  Description  The Office of the Ohio Public Defender seeks a committed, compassionate advocate for an Assistant Public Defender 2 (APD2) position for the Wrongful Conviction Project (WCP). The WCP is dedicated to identifying, investigating and litigating cases of actual innocence for incarcerated people in Ohio. The Project also works to educate others on the causes and consequences of wrongful convictions.  A successful APD2 in the Wrongful Conviction Project must exhibit a strong commitment to indigent defense. They possess excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrate compassion for the WCP’s clients, their families, and all people who ask the WCP for assistance. They must have strong analytical skills, think creatively, be adept at legal research and writing, and have comfort advocating for clients in court. The WCP takes a collaborative approach to the analysis and investigation of innocence claims. The APD will work closely with the Project’s supervising attorney, as well as our investigator and law students as cases are reviewed and investigated.  Essential job duties include but are not limited to:  Screen and evaluate claims of wrongful conviction  Research, analyze, and interpret complex issues of law. Prepare briefs, memoranda, motions, and other pleadings subject to review (e .g., work as co-counsel or lead-counsel on criminal cases at the trial, appellate, and post-conviction level)  Participate with other attorneys in... read more

Communications Manager – Georgia Innocence Project

JOB DESCRIPTION  Title: COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Position type: Full me (part-time is an option) Salary: $42,000+ (depending on experience and hours) Benefits: Generous paid me off, potential flexible benefits plan, professional development  SUMMARY: The Georgia Innocence Project (GIP) is a non-profit legal organizaon dedicated to preventing and correcting the wrongful conviction of innocent people in Georgia, and to helping the exonerated rebuild their lives. The Communications Manager reports to GIP’s Executive Director.  PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES  ○ Oversee cultivationon and management of media relationships to help shape news coverage  ○ Research and secure strategic speaking opportunities  and media placements  ○ Create press kits, draft and issue press advisories and releases, and respond to press inquiries  ○ Help create newsletters, e-blasts, blog posts and other updates  ○ Develop fact sheets, case highlights, op eds, and other informational materials  ○ Manage and create content for social media accounts  ○ Assist with communications aspects of development, such as Giving Tuesday and annual reports  ○ Manage communications aspects of Wrongful Conviction Day, Hawks partnership, and events  ○ Work with ED to develop and implement strategic communications plan  ○ Manage website content and design  QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE  ○ Excellent written and verbal communication skills required  ○ Bachelor’s degree required, and 3+ years similar experience preferred  ○ Legal communication experience strongly preferred  ○ Nonprofit fundraising experience desired  ○ Passion for and understanding of GIP’s mission and work  ○ Self-starter that also asks questions and seeks clarification when needed  ○ Humility and confidence – no job is too small or too big  ○ Values giving and receiving feedback and constructive criticism  HOW TO APPLY  Interested applicants should email the... read more

Finance and Human Resources Manager – Innocence Project of Florida

The Innocence Project of Florida, Inc. (IPF) is seeking a Finance and Human Resources Manager with a demonstrated passion for social justice issues, beginning as early as March 2020 in its Tallahassee, Florida office. The Finance and Human Resources Manager will be a full-time position and will report directly to the Executive Director. The Innocence Project of Florida is a 501(c)(3) non-profit legal defense organization dedicated to representing Florida prison inmates who can prove their innocence through the use of DNA testing and other newly discovered evidence. IPF is the premier criminal justice organization in Florida and has helped secure the release of numerous individuals who collectively spent over 460 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS: MANAGING ORGANIZATIONAL BUDGETING, ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE ACTIVITIES: • Work with IPF’s Executive Director to develop IPF’s annual budget; • Manage IPF’s budget, using an approved electronic software, by timely reconciling all accounts each month, timely depositing received checks into appropriate bank accounts, and providing quarterly budget reports and projections to the Executive Director; • Develop monthly and quarterly bill-paying calendar, to ensure timely payment of all vendor bills; • Generate checks for payment to litigation-related and other vendors, upon approved requests from employees; • Maintain IPF’s payroll system, including management of the employee leave program, the timely payment of bi-weekly paychecks, timely distribution of employee W-2s and vendor 1099s, and timely payment of all payroll taxes; • Facilitate the quarterly and annual closing of IPFs books with an approved accountant, and ensure that the timely completion and filing of IPF’s taxes and any other government-required submissions; • Oversee,... read more

Staff Attorney – Innocence Project

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION: 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 the wrongly convicted who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. 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 to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment. To learn more, please visit www.innocenceproject.org.  JOB SUMMARY: The Staff Attorneys in the Post-Conviction Litigation Department represent convicted individuals around the nation seeking to overturn their convictions based on evidence of innocence, including through post- conviction DNA testing. Staff attorneys work with a wide-range of forensic and other experts and investigators to re-investigate and litigate post-conviction innocence claims, with a heavy motion practice involving a variety of avenues for relief (including ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, false evidence, newly discovered evidence). In addition, the Staff Attorneys are clinical law teachers who select, instruct and supervise students participating in a year-long clinic associated with Cardozo School of Law. The Staff Attorneys work under the supervision of the Director of Post-Conviction Litigation, and work closely with a Paralegal, two to three clinic students, and with other members of the Legal and Intake departments. Staff attorneys collaborate across the project. They provide legal support... read more

Staff Attorney, Georgia Innocence Project

Title:                      STAFF ATTORNEY Position type:    Full time, salaried, exempt Salary:                  $59,000+ (depending on experience) Benefits:              Generous flex spending benefits credits, PTO, and professional development   The Georgia Innocence Project (“GIP”) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing pro bono legal services to people convicted in Georgia of crimes they did not commit.  GIP works to exonerate the imprisoned innocent, prevent future wrongful convictions through education and policy reform, and connect the exonerated with resources to rebuild their lives. We are seeking a full-time Staff Attorney to assist in investigating and litigating Georgia cases as described below. This position is based in our office in Atlanta, and will require travel throughout Georgia. The staff attorney reports directly to the Executive Director or designee.   PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES Investigate and oversee investigations into post-conviction innocence claims in Georgia Gather and review entire case records (trial and appellate records, police and lab reports, prosecutor and DOC files) to understand and assess the factual and procedural history, generating extensive work product documents and memos in the process Identify and take steps necessary to uncover and analyze any new evidence of innocence Communicate with clients, defense attorneys, prosecutors, witnesses and others Consult with experts in various fields Draft and litigate motions for access to evidence and DNA testing Litigate post-conviction innocence claims utilizing DNA testing or other newly discovered evidence in state court, federal court and/or relevant administrative bodies Supervise law student interns, as needed Give talks and presentations on case work and law, as appropriate Regularly communicate with GIP staff about the status of cases QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE... read more

Latino Initiative Attorney – Illinois Innocence Project

The University of Illinois at Springfield Illinois Innocence Project (IIP)will be hiring a staff attorney with a specific focus on developing its Latino Innocence Initiative. This individual should be licensed to practice in Illinois, reside in Northern Illinois and be bilingual in Spanish. Duties will include: Working on post-conviction cases, many of which are already identified, of Latino inmates who IIP believes have a meritorious innocence claim and some potential for having their convictions overturned. Networking with law firms, the Mexican Consulate, and other legal organizations to obtain support and/ or collaboration in pursuing such cases. Networking with community organizations that have an interest in furthering the legal rights of Latinos in prison to educate them about the work of IIP and identify individuals in prison who have been convicted of serious felonies and are actually innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted. Helping IIP begin planning for discussions, meetings or a conference-either regional or national in nature-to identify proposed policy to help minimize the wrongful conviction of Latinos in Illinois. Given the receipt of grant funding, IIP is ready to move forward in this work as soon as we can identify and hire a qualified individual. Please call or write Larry Golden, IIP Founding Director, as soon as possible: 217-553- 7171 or... read more

Strategic Litigation Counsel, Arizona Justice Project

The Arizona Justice Project (“AJP”), a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to seeking justice for the innocent and correcting cases of manifest injustice in the Arizona criminal justice system. With a mission to seek justice for the marginalized and forgotten, the AJP provides pro bono legal representation to indigent individuals who have been wrongfully convicted in Arizona.  In Arizona, people in prison seeking help to prove their innocence in the post-conviction setting often turn to the AJP. In the AJP’s eighteen years of operation, the AJP has secured the release of 26 individuals in Arizona. There is an ongoing need for the legal services of the AJP, as well as a need to examine how these wrongful convictions occurred and improve the system to prevent such injustices from continuing to occur.  Title: Strategic Litigation Counsel Position Type: Full-Time, Salaried Employee Contract Length: 24 Months, Renewable depending upon funding Salary: $65,000+ (based on experience) Benefits: Health Insurance, PTO, Holiday Pay, and Paid AZ Annual Bar Dues  Objectives for Strategic Litigation Counsel This position will focus on improving the accuracy of the justice system by employing avenues of strategic litigation and collaborating with lawyers, judges and policy makers on issues highlighted in wrongful conviction cases. The work will include identifying cases that must be re-examined based on flaws in the underlying conviction. Counsel will also be involved in pending cases addressing specific issues critical to the AJP’s mission and providing support in cases involving unreliable forensic evidence. Finally, counsel will collaborate with criminal justice stakeholders, such as law enforcement agencies and policy makers, to strengthen the system by implementing best practices and... read more

Supervising Attorney University of Missouri School of Law Innocence Clinic, Midwest Innocence Project

The Midwest Innocence Project (MIP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit legal defense organization dedicated to representing wrongfully convicted prison inmates in our five- state region (MO, KS, NE, IA, AR) who can prove their innocence through the use of DNA testing and other newly discovered evidence. The MIP seeks a candidate for a full- time Supervising Attorney position in Columbia, St. Louis, or Kansas City, MO. This position reports directly to MIP’s Executive Director and is responsible for effectuating the following job responsibilities.  The Supervising Attorney position will be responsible for directing the University of Missouri School of Law’s Innocence Clinic and teaching the Wrongful Conviction Course. The clinic is responsible for reviewing applications arising from convictions involving eyewitness identifications and occurring within Missouri for the instances where DNA could prove an applicant’s innocence. The Supervising Attorney will work with MIP staff; supervise law student interns; engage in case investigations; and participate in litigation and case preparation. This is a fulltime grant position with a two- year term beginning January 1, 2020. The position is expected to continue after the termination of grant-funding.  This position requires excellent research and writing skills; experience in computer- assisted legal research; word processing capability; time management skills; and the ability to understand and manage complex factual and legal issues and supervise intake processes. The Supervising Attorney must maintain an active caseload while working with and providing oversight for law students and partner attorneys in conducting records collection and investigation. The Supervising Attorney must have a strong capacity and experience in direct litigation and providing oversight for litigation processes.  Responsibilities include  Serve as an adjunct... read more

Director of Intake and Case Evaluation, Innocence Project

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION:  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 the wrongly convicted who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. 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 to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment. To learn more, please visit www.innocenceproject.org.  JOB SUMMARY: The Innocence Project is seeking a highly skilled people and process manager to fill the role of Director of Intake and Case Evaluation. The Director of Intake and Case Evaluation manages a high volume, highly detailed, multi-stage process of evaluation that screens individual claims of innocence for direct representation by Innocence Project staff attorneys. The Intake Department processes thousands of letters each year from individuals seeking representation. Those initial letters set off a chain of evaluation resulting in detailed analysis of claims along with the review of legal documents to determine whether there is a viable claim of innocence. Currently cases are evaluated to determine whether DNA testing can prove an innocence claim. In upcoming years, the process will be expanded to include the evaluation of cases more broadly.  The Director is responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of this complicated operation, revising and... read more

Intake Attorney, Pennsylvania Innocence Project

Pa IP Mission: The Pennsylvania Innocence Project is a non-profit, public interest law firm dedicated to exonerating those who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit and preventing innocent people from being convicted. That mission is coupled with a twofold educational mission: training law students and practicing lawyers to recognize and litigate valid innocence claims; and raising the consciousness of lawmakers and citizens about the systemic causes of wrongful convictions and the ways to safeguard against them.  Position Overview: The Intake Attorney will manage the Project’s case intake/screening process and supervise directly the more than one hundred law student interns and pro bono lawyers engaged in reviewing cases submitted by incarcerated Pennsylvanians. The Intake Attorney will be responsible for auditing and reforming our current intake system to ensure that we are screening cases as effectively and quickly as possible. While the Intake Attorney will be integral to the success of the office and the ultimate representation of our clients, this is a non- litigation position. The Intake Attorney will not have their own caseload.  Qualifications: 1. Juris Doctor degree; preference given to barred attorneys and/or attorneys completing  clerkships 2. Excellent management and organization skills 3. Strong written and verbal communication skills 4. Sense of humor and willingness to be a team player 5. Familiarity with or willingness to learn case management databases, including Salesforce and Clio 6. Project management and/or volunteer training experience preferred 7. Dual language proficiency preferred  Specific Responsibilities:  Manage case review process: Acquaint law student interns and pro bono lawyers with the Project’s review procedures and requirements; together with the Project’s paralegal, assign case review... read more