What is Wrongful Conviction Day?
Wrongful Conviction Day aims to inform and educate the broader international community on the causes and consequences of wrongful conviction. The tremendous personal, social, and emotional costs of wrongful conviction harm both the innocent person in prison as well as their families and loved ones. The justice system failed them and they deserve our compassion and fair compensation. Wrongful Conviction Day is a time to raise their voices and tell their stories.
Members of the Innocence Network work across the United States and the world to free innocent people from prison and reform the criminal justice system to make future wrongful convictions less likely. Together, the members of the Innocence Network have helped to exonerate close to 400 innocent men and women who collectively have spent over 5,000 years in prison. On Wrongful Conviction Day we come together to bring attention to this problem, to take action to ensure that all innocent people get the justice they deserve, and to celebrate the progress we continue to make.
Innocence Network Member Organization Work
In 2014, the California Innocence Project freed Michael Hanline from prison after 36 years of wrongful incarceration. He is the longest wrongful incarceration in California. This video highlights the day of his release. To date, Hanline has not received compensation from the state for his wrongful conviction. Thankfully, Hanline’s wife stayed with him for the duration of his wrongful incarceration and provides him with support.
Gregory Bright was convicted of a second degree murder charge he did not commit in 1975. In Louisiana this crime holds a mandatory life sentence. Gregory was only twenty years old. On June 24th, 2003, Gregory was exonerated by the Innocence Project-New Orleans and freed after being incarcerated for 27 1/2 years. Gregory now speaks out about wrongful conviction and life after exoneration, he also found his calling as an actor. This video interviews Gregory and shows clips of him acting.
Learn about the work of the Innocence Project of Minnesota, including the successful exonerations of four wrongfully convicted men and IPMN board member Steven Kaplan’s work to free Damon Thibodeaux from Louisiana’s death row.
The video is about the work that Innocence Canada, formerly the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC) do on behalf of the wrongly convicted and why we do it. Ron Dalton, an exoneree and Innocence Canada co-president, his daughter Allison, and exoneree Anthony Hanemaayer are featured along with key people involved in innocence work and the criminal justice system.
On March 10, 2016, the Brooklyn D.A. overturned Innocence Project client, Andre Hatchett’s murder conviction. He had served 25 years in prison for the 1991 murder he did not commit. Hatchett was the 19th person to be exonerated under Brooklyn D.A. Ken Thompson’s Conviction Integrity Unit.
A brief history of the successes of the Illinois Innocence Project and its role on the release of 9 innocent people.
Dawan Tyner is reunited with his family after the Michigan Supreme Court granted him a new trial. Students at the Michigan Innocence Clinic have led Dawan’s efforts to prove his innocence of a 2005 murder. Dawan’s conviction was based on a single eyewitness who admitted he could have been wrong in identifying Dawan as one of the shooters. New evidence shows he wasn’t even at the crime scene at the time.
After serving 42 years of a life sentence for arson-murder, Letitia “Teri” Smallwood is reunited with her sister. In April, 2015, the Pennsylvania Innocence Project secured Teri a new trial by showing the fire investigator’s trial testimony was unreliable. Teri was released on bail pending the Commonwealth’s appeal of that decision and a potential new trial.