Last Call to Meet Our $500 Goal/Life After Exonerationby Stephen Littau
Disclaimer: The views expressed here at The Liberty Papers either by the post authors or views found in the comments section do not necessarily reflect the views of The Innocence Project nor its affiliates.
In support of our fundraising efforts for The Innocence Project, I had tried to dedicate at least one post per week over the last four weeks to the cause of criminal justice reform – many of which are the very reforms The Innocence Project are working to bring about. With today being the last day of this fundraising campaign, 228 “Innocence Partners” combined efforts has raised nearly $15,000 of the $20,000 target. As of this writing, you readers have already donated $375 – 75% of our $500 goal! Thanks to everyone who has donated so far or plans to donate. Remember: your donations are 100% tax deductible.
Believe it or not, in the time we joined this campaign nearly a month ago to help The Innocence Project, 2 individuals have been exonerated as a direct result of The Innocence Project’s help!
In case you are wondering what $20,000 can accomplish (the overall campaign’s goal), this is how far The Innocence Project says the money can go:
• Pay for post-conviction DNA testing that may prove innocence for 4 clients.
• Provide 16 exonerees with basic needs including food, rent, and transportation for the first month after release.
• Cover the costs to send 20 exonerees to testify before state legislatures to reform the criminal justice system.
• Send 25 local advocates to an Innocence Project training to learn how to advance wrongful conviction reforms in their state.
• Allow a staff attorney to represent 5 clients.
• Enable staff to advocate for wrongful conviction reforms in 6 states.
In this series of posts, I covered some of the reforms and issues The Innocence Project has been trying to bring to light such as compensation for the wrongfully convicted, eyewitness misidentification, and false confessions. Rather than doing a rush job writing a final piece for the series, I encourage everyone to follow this link for the Frontline episode entitled “Burden of Innocence” (I couldn’t find a nifty player to embed the episode into this post but you can watch the episode in its entirety there). This episode deals with life after these individuals have been exonerated and their struggles to reenter and rejoin free society. It seems that there is much work that needs to be done here as well.