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This podcast is no longer producing new episodes on this channel. We strongly recommend subscribing to the Convicted podcast feed for more stories of injustice. Click here to listen on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/convicted/id1225081063?mt=2 or visit our website for a link to the new feed in your favorite podcast app.
In the year 2017 alone, 139 people were exonerated for crimes they did not commit - some had even been sentenced to death. Many others were sentenced to forever.
Our mission is to share the stories of the Exonerated through their own voices empowering the individual Exoneree while also educating and compelling our listeners to help end this type of injustice. Only a flawed system convicts innocent people, but together we can correct those flaws and create a true system of justice.
The Truth & Justice Podcast is a listener driven show, devoted to the pursuit of truth and justice. Host, Bob Ruff, investigates potential wrongful conviction and cold cases using a unique crowdsourcing approach. Bob invites listeners to participate in the investigations, as he breaks down a new case in each season in real time. Truth & Justice is currently on Season 6, where Bob is asking for the help of the Truth & Justice Army to get to the bottom of the murder of Jaime Melgar. Jaime was murdered in his home in Houston, Texas in 2012. His wife, Sandy, was convicted for the crime. Bob believes the real killer is still out there.
The Undisclosed podcast investigates wrongful convictions, and the U.S. criminal justice system, by taking a closer look at the perpetration of a crime, its investigation, the trial, and ultimate verdict... and finding new evidence that never made it to court.
Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a podcast about tragedy, triumph, unequal justice and actual innocence. Based on the files of the lawyers who freed them, Wrongful Conviction features interviews with men and women who have spent decades in prison for crimes they did not commit – some of them had even been sentenced to death. These are their stories.
Jason Flom is the CEO of Lava Records and Lava Music Publishing. Flom previously served as Chairman and CEO at Atlantic Records, Virgin Records, and Capitol Music Group and is personally responsible for launching acts such as Kid Rock, Katy Perry, and Lorde. He is a nationally recognized philanthropist and an expert on criminal justice issues. Flom is a founding board member of the Innocence Project and serves on the boards of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, The Drug Policy Alliance, The Legal Action Center, the NYU Prison Education Program, and VetPaw.
This documentary, produced by a former Innocence Project clinic student, focuses on the DNA exonerations of seven wrongfully convicted men. It received the 2005 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize.
Amanda Knox was an American foreign exchange student in Perugia, Italy, who was wrongly convicted, along with her then-boyfriend, of killing her roommate in what prosecutors speculated was a sex act gone wrong. Knox recounts the nightmare of her conviction and how she was vilified in tabloids and media across the world.
The Central Park Five, a film from award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, tells the story of the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. The film chronicles The Central Park Jogger case, for the first time from the perspective of these five teenagers whose lives were upended by this miscarriage of justice.
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers were arrested and charged with brutally attacking and raping a white female jogger in Central Park. News media swarmed the case, calling them a “wolfpack.” The five would spend years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit before the truth about what really happened became clear.
After Northwestern journalism students uncovered new evidence that exonerated 13 people on Illinois death row, Illinois Governor George Ryan ordered a moratorium on the death penalty. This 2004 documentary follows the process of rehearing all the death row cases in Illinois and the history of the death penalty in America through a critical lens.
Nick Yarris is the sole subject of this 2015 documentary feature. Nick tells his story starting with his youth to his murder conviction. He explains the 21 years he spent on death row and his exoneration. The film was nominated for Best Documentary Film at the 2015 London Film Festival.
Ed Honaker is the subject of an episode of Forensic Files called “Crime Seen” from 1998. Ed was convicted of rape and was sentenced to three life sentences. He was exonerated using DNA evidence. This episode features both Ed Honaker and Barry Scheck, co-founder and co-director of the Innocence Project.
This 2010 episode of PBS’ Frontline examines the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas in 2004 for allegedly setting a fire that killed his three young daughters 13 years earlier. He always claimed his innocence, and the arson investigation used to convict him was questioned by leading experts before Willingham was executed. Since 2004, further evidence in the case has led to the inescapable conclusion that Willingham did not set the fire for which he was executed.
This widely acclaimed 2015 Netflix documentary series exposes the details around the case of Steven Avery, a man who, despite being exonerated for a crime he did not commit in 2003, found himself behind bars again in 2005 for an unrelated crime. The second season of the show follows up on the post-conviction process.
This documentary, directed by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, is based on the true story of Brenton Butler, who was 15 years old when he was wrongfully convicted of murder. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Film at the 74th Academy Awards in 2002.
Four best friends–Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Cassandra Rivera and Anna Vasquez–also known at the San Antonio Four, were wrongfully convicted of raping Ramirez’s seven- and nine-year-old nieces in 1994. Their convictions were motivated by homophobia and eventually it was revealed that evidence used in court room testimony was erroneous. One of the victims also recanted her testimony, admitting that she had been forced by family members to deliver false testimony.
In 1976, Randall Adams was wrongly sentenced to death for the murder of a Dallas policeman. Errol Morris' stunning documentary exposed the truth of the case and is credited with overturning Adams' conviction.
1968: Arcadia, Florida. James Richardson is convicted of the murder of his seven children and spends more than 21 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. This is the story of his 50-year fight for justice and the impossibility of redemption.
James Richardson was a citrus picker in Florida who was convicted of the deaths of his seven children in 1968 by poisoning them. Time Simply Passes follows his conviction, miraculous release in 1989, and the following twenty-five years as he battles with the state to attain a settlement through landmark legislation. Filmmaker Ty Flowers created the Award-winning film with his father Charles, an investigative journalist from Florida who has spent the majority of his life working on the case.
In 1986, Michael Morton's wife is brutally murdered, and Michael is convicted of the crime. Locked away for a quarter century, he has years to ponder questions of justice and innocence. Michael's attorney spends years fighting for the right to test DNA evidence found at the murder scene. Their discoveries reveal that the price of a wrongful conviction goes well beyond one man's loss of freedom.
Court-TV’s 2005 film version of the award-winning Off-Broadway play features the stories of six people who were exonerated after being sentenced to death. The cast includes Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover and Aidan Quinn.
Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they're falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story.
Starring: Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse
Creators: Ava DuVernay
In 1989 a jogger was assaulted and raped in New York's Central Park, and five young people were subsequently charged with the crime. The quintet, labeled the Central Park Five, maintained its innocence and spent years fighting the convictions, hoping to be exonerated. This limited series spans a quarter of a century, from when the teens are first questioned about the incident in the spring of 1989, going through their exoneration in 2002 and ultimately the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014. The cast is full of Emmy nominees and winners, including Michael K. Williams, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, and Blair Underwood. Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Ava DuVernay co-wrote and directed the four episodes.
Lifetime Movie Network’s 2010 original movie about Calvin Willis, who was released from Louisiana State Penitentiary after more than 21 years of wrongful incarceration. The film focuses on Willis’ relationship with his longtime advocate, Janet Gregory, a single mom and paralegal, and her critical role in his exoneration.
This policy, adopted by the ABA Criminal Justice section in 2017, "urges prosecutor's offices to adopt and implement internal conviction-integrity policies when an office supports a defendant's motion to vacate a conviction based on the office's doubts about the defendant's guilt of the crime for which the defendant was convicted, or about the lawfulness of the defendant's conviction."
Founded in 1920, the ABA Criminal Justice Section has over 16,000 members including prosecutors, private defense counsel, appellate and trial judges, law professors, correctional and law enforcement personnel, law students, public defenders, and other criminal justice professionals.
California incarcerated Obie Anthony for 17 years for a murder he did not commit. After his exoneration in 2011, Obie had to learn how to build a new life outside of prison. He struggled with employment, PTSD and reestablishing relationships with his family. In 2015 he founded Exonerated Nation to help make sure other exonerees didn’t have to face these challenges alone. Exonerated Nation is non-profit based in Oakland that serves California exonerees. We aim to expand our services to reach exonerees across the nation.
188 people have been exonerated from California prisons. After years of wrongful imprisonment, there is no established state program to help them to secure housing, access health and mental health services and transition home from incarceration. That’s where we come in. Exonerated Nation is on a mission to meet the immediate needs of exonerees in California.
This site provides a list of innocence organizations that can be viewed alphabetically, by geographical area, or on a map. It also maintains a Brief Bank of all the amicus briefs filed by the Innocence Network on behalf of criminal defendants. Categories listed in the brief bank include Actual Innocence, Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Police & Prosecutorial Misconduct, among others.
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.
The Innocence Project, founded in 1992 by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck at Cardozo School of Law, exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.
Some of the resources on this site are accessible to members only, however, there are numerous helpful resources available to the public. NACDL publishes various reports and studies regarding the criminal justice system. Some notable resources include the Post-Conviction Innocence Claims Toolbox, the Brief and Motion Bank, and the Restoration of Rights Project.
A bipartisan organization that provides a forum for state legislators and their staffs to discuss state issues. Research tab contains information about state legislation, including issues of Civil and Criminal Justice.
The mission of The National Registry of Exonerations is to provide comprehensive information on exonerations of innocent criminal defendants in order to prevent future false convictions by learning from past errors.
The National Registry of Exonerations is a project of the Newkirk Center for Science & Society at University of California Irvine, the University of Michigan Law School and Michigan State University College of Law. It was founded in 2012 in conjunction with the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. The Registry provides detailed information about every known exoneration in the United States since 1989—cases in which a person was wrongly convicted of a crime and later cleared of all the charges based on new evidence of innocence. The Registry also maintains a more limited database of known exonerations prior to 1989.
The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.
The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) is working for equality, justice, and dignity in our criminal justice system. The mission of SCHR is to end capital punishment, mass incarceration, and other criminal justice practices that are used to control the lives of poor people, people of color, and other marginalized groups in the Southern United States. We do this through death penalty representation, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and public education.
The Southern Center for Human Rights was founded in 1976 by ministers and activists concerned about criminal justice issues in response to the Supreme Court's reinstatement of the death penalty that year and to the horrendous conditions in Southern prisons and jails. Its creation followed the historic case of Gates v. Collier, 349 F.Supp. 881 (N.D. Miss.1972). affirmed, Gates v. Collier, 501 F.2d 1291 (5th Cir. 1974), brought in federal court in the Northern District of Mississippi, which ending egregious constitutional violations at the Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman Farm). For a detailed description of the horrific abuses at Parchman Farm, click on the two court decisions. For a description of Mississippi's use of its criminal justice system to maintain white supremacy after Emancipation through convict leasing and Parchman Farm, see David M. Oshinsky, Worse than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice (Free Press 1996).
Originally named the Southern Prisoners Defense Committee, the organization's attorneys and investigators struggled alongside civil rights organizations, families, and faith-based organizations to protect the civil and human rights of people of color, poor people, and other disadvantaged people facing the death penalty or confined to prisons and jails in the South.
After the 1970s, the criminal justice system exploded in size and reach. After holding steady for 150 years, the number of people imprisoned in the United States increased from around 200,000 to over 2 million. The United States now has the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world.
In addition to providing representation to people facing the death penalty, SCHR employs class action lawsuits and individual representation in challenging unconstitutional and unconscionable practices within the criminal justice system. It also engages in public education and joint efforts with other organizations and individuals to oppose the death penalty and overcrowding of prisons and jails, to advocate for effective representation for poor people accused of crimes, just and humane sentencing policies and the fair, equal, and humane treatment of all people who come into the criminal justice system.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.
The goals of the blog are to: provide a single location on the web where one can go daily to find updated news and commentary relating to wrongful convictions; spur debate, discussion and learning on the issue; create a repository where, through time, nearly all media and information about wrongful convictions will be accessible and searchable in one location.
The Collateral Consequences Resource Center is a non-profit organization established in 2014 to promote public engagement on the myriad issues raised by the collateral consequences of arrest or conviction. Collateral consequences are the legal restrictions and discrimination that burden people with a criminal record long after their criminal case is closed. The Center develops a variety of resources and projects aimed at practitioners, courts, researchers, policymakers, and those most directly affected by criminal justice involvement. Recently, we have focused particular attention on the rapidly-expanding inventory of state laws aimed at mitigating the adverse impact of a criminal record.
On our website, we provide news and commentary about this dynamic area of the law, practice and advocacy resources, and our Restoration of Rights Project (RRP), which provides information about how to obtain relief from collateral consequences in different jurisdictions. The RRP includes state-by-state profiles analyzing the law and practice in each U.S. jurisdiction relating to restoration of rights and status, as well as 50-state comparison charts that make it possible to see national patterns in restoration laws and policies. (RRP profiles and CCRC comments have been cited in multiple federal court decisions and dozens of scholarly works.) In addition, we draft annual reports on new legislative developments, participate in court cases challenging specific collateral consequences, provide recommendations and research in connection with policy reform efforts, and engage with social media and journalists on these issues.
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