The Innocence Project

The Innocence Project was started in 1992 by Peter Neufeld and Peter Scheck and it is a non-profit organization. The Innocence Project is affiliated with the Yeshiva University Law School. The main purpose or main mission for the non-profit organization is to assist individuals who were wrongfully convicted of crimes. The main reason why it has been successful in freeing innocent men and women, who were wrongfully convicted of committing certain crimes, is because of the advancements in criminal science and criminology.

One main area of advancements in criminal science is the creation of DNA testing. With the advancements and improvements in DNA Testing, the non-profit organization has been able to overturn many convictions. Also, there have been many strives and advancements in the area of CSI (crime scene investigation), that has helped in the release of wrongfully convicted individuals. With these advancements in criminal science and criminology, many individuals have been released from prison and others have been found innocent of certain crimes.

One major area where many individuals have been released from prison is many witnesses coming forward and recanting their testimony. The Innocence Project has been able to find witnesses who have recanted their testimony that had convicted the wrong person of a particular crime. Also, the Project has been able to find witnesses who were not questioned by the police or placed on the stand by the Prosecutor to state that someone else had committed the crime.

The major of the case handled by the organization involve a Black person being accused and convicted of committing a crime against a White person. Many of these crimes occurred during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The sad thing about many of these cases is that many of the individuals have spent much of their young lives in prison for crimes that they didn’t commit. Since the creation of the Innocence Project in 1992, the organization has placed a light on the prejudice and discrimination faced by many minorities arrested for certain crimes. Especially, if the crime involves a Black person as the “alleged attacker” and a White person as the “victim”. Many police officers and prosecutors fail to put their personal beliefs and prejudices aside when investigating such crimes. But, the Innocence Project, has made it their mission to ensure that police officers and prosecutors stop such traditional practices.

Such the Innocence Project has been in existence, there have been other non-profit organizations that have been established with the same mission. Their mission in common is to ensure that innocent individuals’ convictions are overturned and they are released from jail. Also, many non-profit organizations like the Innocence Project, have sued state governments and local governments, to compensate the wrongfully accused for their time spent in jail on false convictions. These organizations have won millions in judgments for their clients, but the sad note to this is that they have wasted unnecessary time in jail. Sadly, they will never be able to get that time spent in jail back.


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