THE INNOCENCE PROJECT 2008 BENJAMIN N. CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW, YESHIVA UNIVERSITY
CONTENTS FEATURES FREEING THE INNOCENT..................................................4 CLEARING THE PATH TO EXONERATION................................8 PREVENTING WRONGFUL CONVICTION ..............................10
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Gordon DuGan President and Chief Executive Officer, W.P. Carey & Co., LLC Senator Rodney Ellis Texas State Senate, District 13 Board Chair
PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF THE EXONERATED ....................14
DEPARTMENTS LETTER FROM THE CO-DIRECTORS ......................................3
Jason Flom President, LAVA Records
INNOCENCE PROJECT SUPPORTERS ..................................18
John Grisham Author
LETTER FROM BOARD CHAIR AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR..........26
Calvin Johnson Former Innocence Project client and exoneree; Supervisor, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
Dr. Eric S. Lander Director, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard Professor of Biology, MIT Hon. Janet Reno Former U.S. Attorney General
Matthew Rothman Managing Director and Global Head of Quantitative Equity Strategies, Barclays Capital Stephen Schulte Founding Partner and Of Counsel, Schulte Roth & Zabel, LLP Bonnie Steingart Partner, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP Andrew H. Tananbaum President and CEO, Capital Business Credit, LLC Jack Taylor Managing Partner, Surrey Hill Capital, LLC Board Treasurer Paul R. Verkuil Professor of Law, Cardozo School of Law Of Counsel, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP Rachel Warren M.K. Enterprises, Inc.
ON THE COVER: THOMAS MCGOWAN (CENTER) AND HIS INNOCENCE PROJECT ATTORNEYS, CO-DIRECTOR BARRY SCHECK (LEFT) AND STAFF ATTORNEY JASON KREAG, CELEBRATE MCGOWAN’S RELEASE AS THEY EXIT A DALLAS COURTROOM, APRIL 16, 2008. MCGOWAN WAS EXONERATED IN JUNE AFTER DNA TESTING PROVED HIM INNOCENT OF A 1985 RAPE. PHOTO CREDITS: COVER: AP Photo/Mike Stone; PAGE 3: www.joshuakristal.com; PAGE 4: Dick Blume/The Post-Standard; PAGE 5: Observer-Dispatch, Utica, New York; PAGE 6: AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis; PAGE 8: AP Photo/Mike Groll; PAGE 10: www.joshuakristal.com, PAGE 14; Dallas Morning News/ Vernon Bryant; PAGE 16: Chicago Tribune photo by E. Jason Wambsgans; PAGE 17 CENTER: ©Paul Thatcher; PAGE 26: ©Douglas Gorenstein
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT 2008
REALIZING A VISION Every time an innocent person is exonerated and released from prison, that individual’s life changes forever – and so do the lives of his family and friends, the victim in the case, the real perpetrator who evaded justice for so long, law enforcement authorities who helped convict him, and community members who hear the story. Every time, it’s a remarkable event – with ripple effects far beyond what any of us can see or imagine. And yet it’s not enough. When we started this work more than 16 years ago, we wanted to exonerate as many innocent people as we could, but we also wanted to fundamentally change the system responsible for their wrongful convictions. We wanted law enforcement agencies to change their practices, and we wanted state and federal policymakers to pass laws that can prevent wrongful convictions on a much bigger scale, before they happen.
clients. The Innocence Project introduced critical legislation in 28 states in 2008 and helped pass 19 laws that will prevent future wrongful convictions and help innocent people nationwide. Already, 2009 is shaping up as a year of historic breakthroughs. In just the first few weeks of the year, the National Academy of Sciences released a report that could transform forensic science, and the Innocence Project argued our first case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The work of the Innocence Project has never been as important – or as effective. Thanks to a growing base of strong supporters, we’re having an unparalleled impact all across the country. We’ve always aimed high and, in honor of every person who has been exonerated or is waiting to be proven innocent, we’ll reach even higher in the months and years ahead.
– PETER NEUFELD, CO-DIRECTOR BARRY SCHECK, CO-DIRECTOR
In 2008, we made more important progress than ever toward making this bold, ambitious vision a reality nationwide. Fourteen more people were exonerated through DNA testing, seven of them Innocence Project
LETTER FROM THE CO-DIRECTORS
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT 2008
STEVEN BARNES The rape and murder of 16-year-old Kimberly Simon in 1985 shocked Oneida County, New York. In their search for suspects, police questioned Stephen Barnes, who owned a truck similar to one identified by witnesses as being seen near the crime scene. During a lengthy interrogation, the 19-year-old Barnes insisted on his innocence. Two years later with the murder still unresolved, police arrested Barnes. For many in the community who supported him, the evidence didn’t add up to a conviction. A forensic analyst testified that soil on his truck tires was similar to soil near the Mohawk River where Simon’s body was found. Barnes remembers, “They said the soil had sand in it. Most of the soil in the county has sand in it.” Forensic evidence also included a dusty imprint on the outside of Barnes’ truck that was said to match the fabric pattern on a particular brand of jeans that Simon wore when she was killed. “All they really had was hearsay and similarities,” says Barnes. He was convicted in 1989 and sentenced to 25 years to life. In 1993, one year after the Innocence Project was founded, Barnes became the organization’s 18th client. Those early DNA tests came back inconclusive, with no DNA profile. Barnes and his family were devastated. “My case was dormant for awhile; I didn’t know which way to turn. But then in the 2000s, I knew DNA testing had advanced.” In 2008, the Innocence Project sought DNA testing again with new, more sophisticated methods. Finally, the results exonerated Barnes. He was released the day before Thanksgiving after 20 years in prison. While Barnes gets adjusted to life on the outside, the Innocence Project advocates for stronger standards and better oversight of the forensic sciences. In response to cases like Barnes’, and at the request of Congress, the National Academy of Sciences just released a major report that could transform the forensic sciences nationwide and help spark many of the reforms that the Innocence Project has worked towards, including establishing scientifically validated standards for all forensic disciplines.
LEFT: STEVEN BARNES, JUST MOMENTS AFTER BEING RELEASED, HUGS HIS SISTER LISA PAWLOSKI AS HIS MOTHER SYLVIA BARNES LOOKS ON, NOVEMBER 25, 2008. BARNES WAS SUBSEQUENTLY EXONERATED IN JANUARY. ABOVE: STEVEN BARNES IS LED OUT OF THE ONEIDA COUNTY COURTHOUSE AFTER BEING CHARGED WITH RAPE AND MURDER ON MARCH 30, 1988.
FREEING THE INNOCENT
Watch a video interview with Steven Barnes and other 2008 exonerees at www.innocenceproject.org/annualreport08.
KENNEDY BREWER AND LEVON BROOKS When two little girls were raped and murdered within two years of each other in rural Noxubee County, Mississippi, police, prosecutors and forensic scientists used the same flawed methods to solve both crimes. Levon Brooks, the boyfriend of the victim’s mother in the first case, was convicted in 1992. Kennedy Brewer, the boyfriend of the second victim’s mother, was convicted of the second crime in 1995. The trials were almost as identical as the crimes themselves; the most significant difference being that Brooks was sentenced to life in prison and Brewer was sentenced to death. The prosecution relied on the forensic testimony of Dr. Michael West, who claimed separately at each trial that marks on the victims’ bodies were bite marks matching the defendant’s top two teeth. The marks were later determined to be the result of decomposition or insect activity. In 2001, advanced methods of DNA testing revealed a profile in the Brewer case, and he was cleared. Rather
LEVON BROOKS (LEFT) AND KENNEDY BREWER AT A CIRCUIT COURT HEARING IN NOXUBEE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, WHERE BREWER WAS EXONERATED AND BROOKS WAS RELEASED, FEBRUARY 15, 2008. BROOKS WAS SUBSEQUENTLY EXONERATED IN MARCH.
than exonerate him, however, officials moved him from death row to the county jail where he waited five more years for a retrial. In the meantime, the Innocence Project took Brooks’ case. DNA testing in 2008 identified Albert Johnson as the real perpetrator in the Brewer case. Johnson, who had been an initial suspect in both crimes, confessed to both crimes when confronted with the DNA evidence. Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks were exonerated in early 2008. Both had been incarcerated for 15 years, and Brewer spent 7 years on death row. Their cases spotlighted a state forensic system plagued by cronyism and a lack of oversight. In response to public outcry, led by the Innocence Project and the Mississippi Innocence Project, Attorney General Jim Hood created a task force to review critical needs of the state’s death investigation system and its crime lab. The task force is studying how to provide the state crime lab and medical examiner’s office with the funding and resources they need to modernize the system.
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT 2008
The 15-year-old victim of a 1994 Chicago rape helped police develop a composite sketch of her attacker that was distributed in the neighborhood. Dean Cage saw it posted in the grocery store where he worked. “I stopped and read it and went back to work. It didn’t look anything like me.” Cage – a working father, engaged to be married, with no criminal record – could never have guessed he’d be charged with the crime. But an anonymous tipster identified him based on the sketch. Police brought the victim to the grocery store, where she also identified Cage. He was arrested and taken to the county jail where he would remain for over two years awaiting trial. “It was so rough in there,” he remembers.
In 1982, an armed perpetrator broke into several health clubs in the Dallas area and forced large groups of women to perform sexual acts. Steven Phillips was misidentified by ten of the victims. One victim identified another suspect, Sidney Alvin Goodyear, who was wanted for committing identical crimes. But police didn’t pursue the lead. Phillips was wrongfully convicted of rape and burglary and charged with nine other identical crimes. Fearing a life sentence, he pled guilty. “The truth – that I was innocent – didn’t come into consideration much after two trials,” Phillips says.
In a two-day trial in 1996, Cage was found guilty and sentenced to 40 years. He immediately began working on his appeals. Another prisoner told him about the Innocence Project and he sent a letter asking for help. In May 2008, after over 11 years in prison, Cage was exonerated based on DNA testing. Today, Cage has begun to re-create the life he had before his wrongful conviction. He was reunited with his family and his former fiancée.
The Innocence Project took his case in 2006, and in October 2008, 25 years after his wrongful conviction, Phillips was exonerated. Goodyear, who had died in prison, was identified through a DNA database hit as the real perpetrator. Phillips is one of 14 people proven innocent through DNA testing in Dallas County whose wrongful conviction involved eyewitness misidentification. In light of these cases, the Dallas Police Department announced that it will implement new eyewitness identification procedures recommended by the Innocence Project and proven to reduce the rate of misidentifications.
EXONERATED THROUGH DNA TESTING IN 2008 EXONEREE
Michael Blair Kennedy Brewer Dean Cage Charles Chatman William Dillon
YEAR OF CONVICTION
TX MS IL TX FL
1994 1995 1996 1981 1981
FREEING THE INNOCENT
Nathaniel Hatchett Rickie Johnson Arthur Johnson Robert McClendon Thomas McGowan
YEAR OF CONVICTION
MI LA MS OH TX
1998 1983 1993 1991 1985/1986
Steven Phillips Ronald Gene Taylor Patrick Waller Joseph White
YEAR OF CONVICTION
TX TX TX NE
1982/1983 1995 1992 1989
CLEARING THE PATH TO
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT 2008
ACCESS TO DNA TESTING
Innocent prisoners in Wyoming and South Carolina have reason to hope this year. With the passage of the states’ post-conviction DNA access laws in 2008, prisoners who claim they've been wrongfully convicted have a clearer mechanism to request DNA tests to prove their innocence. Similar laws have helped overturn wrongful convictions and identify real perpetrators nationwide since New York passed the first law in 1994.
An evidence preservation bill in Colorado was derailed last spring when an early draft failed to include any protections for innocent prisoners. The bill was intended to establish statewide procedures for storing and maintaining evidence in criminal cases in order to clear the wrongfully convicted and solve cold cases. But an early draft would have allowed police departments to destroy evidence from old cases, limiting evidence preservation to future cases and foreclosing many postconviction innocence claims.
When the Innocence Project was founded in 1992, not a single U.S. state had a law explicitly granting prisoners access to DNA testing. The Innocence Project sparked a national movement supporting the right to post-conviction DNA testing whenever it can prove innocence or confirm guilt. Today, these laws are in place in all but six states: Alabama, Alaska, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Wrongfully convicted men and women may have to fight for months or years in court for the right to DNA testing in these states. The Innocence Project recently took one of these cases all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court – Alaskan William Osborne has repeatedly been denied DNA testing without just cause. The Innocence Project believes prisoners have a constitutional right to DNA testing that could prove innocence and courts have recognized that right. In the meantime, the Innocence Project works to enact new DNA access laws and improve existing ones so that legal obstacles don't obstruct an innocent person’s path to exoneration. ABOVE: AN EVIDENCE STORAGE FACILITY LEFT: A FORENSIC SCIENTIST AT THE NEW YORK STATE POLICE LAB PROCESSES DNA SAMPLES.
CLEARING THE PATH TO EXONERATION
“HOW CAN ANYBODY SANCTION AN INNOCENT PERSON SPENDING DECADES IN PRISON OR BEING EXECUTED? WE REALLY DO NEED THE OPPORTUNITY TO PROVE THEM INNOCENT, AND WITHOUT THIS KIND OF POSTCONVICTION STATUTE, THEY JUST CAN’T GET INTO COURT AND THEY CAN'T GET ACCESS TO THE EVIDENCE.” – Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck testifying before the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Subcommittee
The Innocence Project testified in opposition to the draft, forcing further negotiations. The final bill corrected the problem by mandating the preservation of evidence in most sexual assault and murder cases for the life of the defendant. Colorado is now one of 25 states in the nation with an evidence preservation statute. The Innocence Project advocates for strong evidence preservation legislation in target states each year. In 2008, the Innocence Project introduced legislation in six states and helped pass three evidence preservation statutes.
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT 2008
EYEWITNESS MISIDENTIFICATION Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest contributing factor to wrongful convictions later overturned through DNA testing, occurring in a full 75% of the over 230 DNA exoneration cases. As public awareness of the problem grows, criminal justice practitioners nationwide are searching for solutions. In response, the Innocence Project has launched a major effort to educate police, prosecutors, judges and defense attorneys about how to make eyewitness identification more accurate and reliable. In 2008, the Innocence Project co-sponsored the first ever National Eyewitness Identification Litigation Conference with the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Washington D.C. Public Defender Service, drawing over 300 people from 32 states and the District of Columbia. Crime victim Jennifer Thompson-Cannino gave the keynote presentation on her experience misidentifying a man who would later be exonerated through DNA testing. Eyewitness identification experts like Gary Wells taught sessions along with leading legal experts like Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck about everything from jury selection to closing arguments in eyewitness identification cases.
JOHN JEROME WHITE (CENTER) WAS MISIDENTIFIED AS THE PERPETRATOR OF A 1979 RAPE IN THIS LINEUP AND WRONGFULLY CONVICTED. THE REAL PERPETRATOR IS JAMES EDWARD PARHAM (FAR RIGHT). THE GEORGIA INNOCENCE PROJECT WON DNA TESTING IN THE CASE, EXONERATING WHITE IN 2007 AND IDENTIFYING THE REAL PERPETRATOR.
The Innocence Project also spearheads a national network that provides thousands of attorneys nationwide with the best scientific and legal information on the issue. In the coming year, the Innocence Project will distribute educational materials for in-state training sessions. The Innocence Project also advises police and prosecutors about how to improve eyewitness identification procedures to strengthen cases against the guilty and reduce misidentifications of innocent people. In 2008, several more jurisdictions changed their eyewitness identification procedures in accordance with the Innocence Projectâ€™s recommendations.
IN 2008, DNA TESTING EXONERATED 12 PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN WRONGFULLY CONVICTED BASED, IN PART, ON EYEWITNESS MISIDENTIFICATION. In addition to educating criminal justice communities in the last year, the Innocence Project continued its mission of pursuing critical policy reforms. Eyewitness identification reform legislation was introduced in 13 states in 2008. The Innocence Project testified to support reforms in five states. Seven states have already adopted eyewitness identification reform policies. In 2009, the Innocence Project will broaden outreach efforts to the public, practitioners and policymakers and continue to pursue meaningful eyewitness identification reform to prevent wrongful convictions in the years to come.
LEFT: SCOTT FAPPIANO, WRONGFULLY CONVICTED OF RAPE IN NEW YORK AND EXONERATED THROUGH DNA TESTING IN 2006, TESTIFIES BEFORE THE NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION TASK FORCE ON WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS HEARING, FEBRUARY 19, 2009.
PREVENTING WRONGFUL CONVICTION
FORENSIC SCIENCE REFORM For nearly 20 years, DNA exonerations have shown that forensic science, though a great tool of the criminal justice system, can also contribute to wrongful convictions when it isn’t used responsibly. Innocence Project Co-Director Peter Neufeld testified about the need for stronger federal oversight of forensic sciences before the Senate Judiciary Committee in early 2008. “This has to be fixed,” Neufeld told the Committee. “And until it's fixed, there will continue to be wrongful convictions and there will still be instances where the real perpetrator of these crimes is out committing additional crimes.”
IMPROPER AND UNVALIDATED FORENSICS HAS CONTRIBUTED TO APPROXIMATELY 50% OF WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS OVERTURNED THROUGH DNA TESTING. Thorough, unbiased, independent investigations can prevent forensic errors from recurring – unfortunately, these types of investigations have been rare and the federal government has failed to enforce existing oversight requirements. Neufeld testified about the need to enforce the oversight requirement of the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program, a federal program that provides federal funding for crime labs and other forensic facilities on the condition that they have proper forensic oversight mechanisms in place. The Innocence Project tracks which states receive funding and which comply with the forensic oversight requirement and has found that states have not been held accountable when
HARRY EDWARDS AND CONSTANTINE GATSONIS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES AT A NEWS CONFERENCE IN FEBRUARY 2009 ABOUT THE NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT IN FORENSIC SCIENCE.
their crime labs make errors or engage in actual misconduct. The Innocence Project will issue the results of this research in a major report to be released in March 2009. Some states have taken action despite the lack of federal direction. The Texas Forensic Science Commission, established in 2005, has already set a historic precedent by becoming the first state agency in U.S. history to investigate a possible wrongful execution. At the Innocence Project's request, the Commission is investigating the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was convicted based on apparently flawed arson analysis and died by lethal injection in 2004. Texas is one of a number of states that have forensic science commissions to help ensure that forensic science is being implemented properly that laboratories are accredited, and that forensic practitioners in states have the resources and information to do their jobs well. In the coming year, the Innocence Project will continue our efforts to ensure quality forensics nationwide by working with states to create forensic science commissions, urging the federal government to enforce the Coverdell grant program’s oversight mechanism, and advocating for the creation of the National Institute of Forensic Science, as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences, to stimulate much-needed research and set national standards and oversight for all forensic disciplines.
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT 2008
TYPES OF ALLEGED MISCONDUCT: BASED ON 53 OF 220 DNA EXONERATION CASES INVOLVING APPEALS AND/OR CIVIL SUITS ADDRESSING PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
IMPROPER ARGUMENT, INCLUDING MAKING QUESTIONABLE, IMPROPER OR INFLAMMATORY REMARKS
WITHOLDING POTENTIALLY EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE
ELICITING FALSE/ PERJURED TESTIMONY
FALSE CONFESSIONS This year, after three consecutive years of considering the legislation, Maryland lawmakers passed a bill that requires recording interrogations for investigations of murders, rapes, and first- and second-degree sex offenses. The practice of electronically recording interrogations from the reading of the Miranda rights onward has found increasing favor among law enforcement nationwide; over 500 law enforcement agencies have now voluntarily adopted the practice. Recording interrogations prevents false claims of police coercion, helps ensure proper police conduct and creates a clear, comprehensive record of a suspect’s statements.
"THREATS AND COERCION SOMETIMES LEAD INNOCENT PEOPLE TO CONFESS, BUT EVEN THE CALMEST, MOST STANDARDIZED INTERROGATIONS CAN LEAD TO A FALSE CONFESSION OR ADMISSION." – Jim Trainum, Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2008
When the legislation was first introduced, the Innocence Project testified in support of it, alongside Detective Jim Trainum, a veteran officer of the Metropolitan Police Department in the District of Columbia. Trainum spoke about his experience inadvertently securing a false confession in a murder case. False confessions and admissions are not uncommon, contributing to wrongful convictions in 25% of cases overturned by DNA testing. In 2008, the Innocence Project worked closely with coalition partners on bills in seven states, and two of those bills passed, the one in Maryland and one in Nebraska. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia now require recording interrogations.
PREVENTING WRONGFUL CONVICTION
8% OTHER, INCLUDING DESTRUCTION OR FABRICATION OF EVIDENCE AND IMPROPER USE OF JAILHOUSE SNITCHES
MULTIPLE TYPES ADDRESSED
PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT AND INADEQUATE DEFENSE Negligence or misconduct by prosecutors and defense attorneys has contributed to a number of wrongful convictions. In Innocence Project cases, inadequate defense attorneys have been drunk or asleep in the courtroom, have failed to investigate alibis, failed to call or consult with experts and more. Prosecutors have exaggerated the value of evidence, withheld key evidence from the defense and failed to investigate other suspects. After conviction, prosecutors have unreasonably blocked innocence claims and opposed DNA testing. In September, the Innocence Project, as a member of the Innocence Network, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a U.S. Supreme Court case concerning prosecutorial immunity in wrongful convictions cases. Also in the past year, the Innocence Project has stepped up our public education efforts about prosecutorial misconduct and inadequate defense through publications, online initiatives, strategic media outreach and speaking engagements, reaching thousands of students, community members, criminal justice practitioners, members of the media and more. In 2009, the Innocence Project will expand our reach by strengthening partnerships with organizations and legal experts who raise awareness about prosecutorial misconduct and inadequate defense. Innocence Project research about these causes of wrongful conviction may help define policy reforms and advocacy efforts nationwide.
PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF THE EXONERATED 14
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT 2008
MT VT WI
NH MA CT
STATES WITH COMPENSATION LAWS
EXONEREE COMPENSATION After the exhilaration of winning their freedom, exonerees are often faced with the reality that they have limited resources. In those tenuous first months, they depend on family, friends and support groups. State-sponsored support services for exonerees are almost nonexistent; in fact, many services that are available to parolees, like job training and housing assistance, are not available to exonerees. When states don’t take responsibility, the Innocence Project and other advocacy groups are left to try to meet the enormous and varied needs of the recently exonerated. The Innocence Project works with state legislatures to create and expand meaningful compensation statutes that help people rebuild their lives after exoneration – mentally, physically and financially. In 2008, the Innocence Project made important progress toward ensuring that social services are included in compensation legislation. New laws in Connecticut, Florida and Illinois advanced the trend toward more comprehensive support. Connecticut now provides possible funding for tuition in the state university system, counseling, job training and other services; Florida includes a waiver of tuition and fees for any career center, community college or state university; and Illinois offers job search and placement services LEFT: AT AN APRIL 15, 2008, HEARING TO CLEAR HIM, THOMAS MCGOWAN (RIGHT) LAUGHS AS TEXAS EXONEREE JAMES GILES OFFERS HIM A $100 BILL TO HELP REBUILD HIS LIFE AFTER 23 YEARS OF WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT.
PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF THE EXONERATED
including resume assistance, interview preparation and referrals to job openings. In many of the 25 states that have compensation statutes, protections for exonerees are still inadequate. Payment often arrives years after exoneration and may be insufficient to start a new life. Some states deny funding to exonerees who pled guilty, falsely confessed, or had a prior criminal record. In total, only about 50% of the over 230 people exonerated by DNA testing have received some form of compensation, and far fewer have received any additional state-sponsored services.
“WHEN YOU ARE IN PRISON FOR AS LONG AS I WAS, PEOPLE EITHER THINK YOU MUST BE GUILTY OR AT LEAST DAMAGED. IT’S BEEN LONELY. VERY LONELY.” – EXONEREE MICHAEL WILLIAMS
The Innocence Project supports legislation that awards at least $50,000 per year of wrongful incarceration and $100,000 per year served on death row as recommended by Congress. Legislation should also include a provision for immediate assistance upon exoneration: subsistence funds, housing, psychological counseling, medical and dental care, job skills training, education and other relevant services. The Innocence Project will renew the push for better compensation laws in 2009, especially in states like New Jersey and Michigan where exonerees are still waiting to receive the support they deserve.
INNOCENCE PROJECT SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM After years behind bars, there is nothing more important to the recently exonerated than a place to call home. Exonerees often stay with family or friends at first, as they struggle to find work and afford their own place. For many, having the freedom and independence of their own home is a goal to look forward to. With the help of the Innocence Project social work program, two recent exonerees relocated to their own homes this year – Dean Cage in Chicago and Kennedy Brewer in Brooksville, Mississippi. Cage, his fiancée and her three children found a four-bedroom house with a yard and a basement where Cage hopes to build a recreation room. “This is real peaceful up here. We’ve got a lot of room,” he says. Brewer and his fiancée moved into a three-bedroom house off the main road in Brooksville and are settling in with new furniture and appliances provided by the Innocence Project. Both exonerees received money for the down payment on their rental homes from the Innocence Project’s Exoneree Fund, which provides vital services like housing, food and clothing to clients
DAYS AFTER HIS MAY 2008 EXONERATION, DEAN CAGE (CENTER) IS REUNITED WITH HIS FAMILY, INCLUDING NEPHEW JACOBI CAGE AND NIECE SHEKINAH CAGE (LEFT) AT HIS MOTHER'S HOME IN CHICAGO.
in the first year after release. The Innocence Project’s social workers also helped Cage with job training and medical care needs and established utility accounts for Cage and Brewer.
AFTER YEARS BEHIND BARS, THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT TO THE RECENTLY EXONERATED THAN A PLACE TO CALL HOME. The Innocence Project provides pre-release services and intensive post-releases services to our clients nationwide. More than 30 clients in 15 states received assistance this year. Before clients are released, social workers consult with them and their families to assess immediate needs and develop an individualized plan for support. After release, services include housing, mental and physical health, public benefits, employment, transportation, education or vocational training, social support networking and more. Support is most concentrated in the first year after release to ensure the smoothest transition possible, but may continue on an ongoing basis as needed.
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT 2008
2008 EXONEREES TALK ABOUT LIFE AFTER EXONERATION Thomas McGowan: 20 years “Now I have choices. I don’t have to be controlled and turned on and off like a robot. I can be out in the free world and see what direction I want my life to go in. It feels good just to have that freedom. It’s a great motivator. Just getting out and going into a place to order something and not being told that I can’t have it. The hard part is knowing that those years are gone, and I can’t get them back. Right now I still feel like I’ve just been put out here in this big old world with everything in it and I’m trying to start. It’s like a shattered mirror and I’m starting to put the pieces in there.”
IT FEELS GOOD JUST TO HAVE THAT FREEDOM. THE HARD PART IS KNOWING THAT THOSE YEARS ARE GONE, AND I CAN’T GET THEM BACK. – THOMAS MCGOWAN
Ronald Taylor: 12 years “A lot of people say it’s a transition, but I just moved on. My life is lovely now compared to what it was. I got married two months after I got out to Jeanette Brown who stayed with me all those years while I was in prison. And I started a landscaping business. If I can sit for years and years and look at a wall, then I’ll be fine out here where I have plenty of room to maneuver. I haven’t been compensated yet, but I’m not worried about it. I got plenty of patience. If somebody’s waiting for my patience to run out, they’re in trouble.”
Rickie Johnson: 25 years “The compensation – $150,000 – was nothing. I was working before my wrongful conviction, and by now I would’ve been retired. But you make the best of a bad situation. I’m real good at that. I never put myself in the institutional mind. The only habit that I still have from prison is getting up early. But that’s good for me because I like to get up early and create things. I make leather goods: belts, bags, boots. I opened my store, RJ Leather Shop, on the anniversary of my exoneration. I’m going to teach my family how to do the business, build it up, look at them run it, and then go retire.”
PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF THE EXONERATED
ABOVE: TOP TO BOTTOM, THOMAS MCGOWAN, RONALD TAYLOR AND HIS WIFE JEANETTE BROWN, AND RICKIE JOHNSON
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT 2008
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT THANKS OUR GENEROUS SUPPORTERS AND REGRETS THAT WE DO NOT HAVE SPACE TO LIST THEM ALL. FISCAL YEAR JULY 1, 2007 THROUGH JUNE 30, 2008 $100,000+ Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University Grousbeck Family Foundation JEHT Foundation Peter B. Lewis John Moores Open Society Institute Frank P. and Denise Quattrone The Starr Foundation
$50,000 TO $99,999 Ammon Foundation Jason and Wendy Flom Kathryn O. and Alan C. Greenberg Renee and John Grisham John Langan and Judith Nadell The Mousetrap Foundation The Neukom Family Foundation Jeff Roberts and Alicia Fukunaga Mr. and Mrs. Alan G. Weiler
$25,000 TO $49,999 Charles Lawrence Keith and Clara Miller Foundation Cochran, Neufeld & Scheck, LLP Thomas Cooper Joseph Flom Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP Arlene and Arnold Goldstein Family Foundation Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co., LLC JPMorgan Chase The Honorable and Mrs. Earle I. Mack Mayer Brown LLP The Overbrook Foundation The Raiff Foundation Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP Andrew and Dorothy Tananbaum The John and Wendy Neu Foundation Viacom, Inc. Charlie and Lauran Walk Winston & Strawn LLP
$10,000 TO $24,999 A & E Television Networks Elias Adamopoulus Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP Brian Cartmell Covington & Burling LLP Cravath, Swaine and Moore LLP Thomas and Barbara Dooley Gordon and Karen DuGan Earle and Katherine Moore Foundation Ernst & Young L.L.P. Frances & Benjamin Benenson Foundation Frederick V. Davis Trust Sherry and Leo Frumkin Ina and Jeffrey Garten H. van Ameringen Foundation
Helen & William Mazer Foundation Hickrill Foundation Jacob Burns Foundation Andrew Karp Gary Karrass The Leo Model Foundation The Leonard Friedland Charitable Foundation David and Ruth Levine The Lillian & Ira N. Langsan Foundation, Inc. Louise & Arde Bulova Fund The Mellen Foundation, Inc. The Miami Dolphins Foundation Peter B. Reynolds Matthew Rothman and Nancy Katz Sheila Saltiel The Shana Alexander Charitable Foundation The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation Sullivan & Cromwell LLP Jack and Kristalina Taylor Jeanne M. Villon Vital Spark Foundation W.P. Carey Foundation, Inc. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP David Weintraub William and Jane Schloss Family Foundation
$5,000 TO $9,999 Dr. Noelie Alito Laurie Arbeiter and Jennifer Hobbs Bantam Dell Publishing Group Lisa Bowen CBS Corporation Paul J. and Carol Collins Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist CRA International Irl, Dina, Alex and Zac Cramer Maddy deLone and Bobby Cohen Dickstein Shapiro LLP Dora L. Foster Trust The Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group Greg Dubin Josh Dubin Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP Fannie B.H. Jones Charitable Lead Unitrust Hensey Alfonso Fenton Kevin and Mary Ellen Finnerty Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo, P.C. Beverly and Lyman Hamilton, in honor of Stephen Schulte Dr. Paul Hartunian Sam and Ronnie Heyman Holly Andersen and Douglas Hirsch, in honor of Kathy & Alan Greenberg Ruth M. Holland Jones Day
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT DONORS
Bob Kagan and Paula Sunshine Howard and Wilma Kaye Kaye Scholer LLP Lankler Siffert & Wohl LLP Gerald B. Lefcourt, Esq. Linda D. A. Fardan Trust Gary Lippman Gary and Janice Long MAH Foundation, Inc. Milberg LLP Peter Neufeld and Adele Bernhard The Penates Foundation Philip W. Riskin Charitable Foundation Ruth Reichl and Michael Singer Eric F. Saltzman and Victoria Munroe Samuel J. Holtzman Family Foundation Barry Scheck and Dorothy Rick Stephen and Margaret Cook Schulte Gerald L. Shargel, Esq. David E. Shaw, PhD and Beth Kobliner Shaw, in memory of Suzanne Shaw Snow Showtime Networks, Inc. Ann L. and Herbert J. Siegel, in honor of Alan and Kathy Greenberg The Silver Family Foundation The Sirus Fund Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP Swartz Family Foundation, in honor of Mark Swartz Maria Vecchiotti Molly Levinson and Josh Wachs Rachel Lee Warren Stacey and Jeffrey Weber Richard Wells, in memory of Don and Jo Wells WilmerHale Don Zacharia Mr. and Mrs. Marc Zboch Nick and Debbie Zoullas
$2,500 TO $4,999 Dr. & Mrs. Bruce and Yoko Allen The Arnold and Jeanne Bernstein Fund Barnert Temple Stephen and Thea M. Bell John Benis Allan and Nancy Bernard Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation Willard B. Brown Brownington Foundation, Inc. Elisa Burns, MD Sheana W. Butler, BCW Trust III Bob and Debbie Cervenka Adam Chase Sanford M. Cohen Ben Denckla and Sarah Reber Joe DeSimone The Edith B. and Lee V. Jacobs Fund No.1 Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C.
ROY BROWN, EXONERATED THROUGH DNA TESTING AFTER 15 YEARS IN PRISON, SPEAKS AT THE 2008 INNOCENCE PROJECT BENEFIT.
INNOCENCE PROJECT TO CELEBRATE “FREEDOM AND JUSTICE” AT THIRD ANNUAL BENEFIT The third annual “Celebration of Freedom & Justice” takes place May 6, 2009, in New York City. The Innocence Project is pleased to honor Bob Balaban, director and co-producer of The Exonerated; the law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges for its extensive pro bono support of the Innocence Project; and recording industry pioneer and Board Member Jason Flom for his leadership in building the Innocence Project. The 2008 benefit saluted John Grisham, Board Member and author of the best-selling book The Innocent Man, and the law firm of Mayer Brown for its collaboration with the Innocence Project in reforming eyewitness identification procedures. The 600 supporters who attended raised over $700,000 for Innocence Project programs and operations. Alan C. and Kathryn O. Greenberg co-chaired the event.
Jack Furlong and Anna McDonough The Gage Fund Tim and Kimberly Gartland Benjamin Gord Bobbie E. Gottlieb and Alan Marcus Hycliff Foundation Jake Family Fund George Kendall The Kenneth Aidekman Family Foundation Kirby Family Foundation Dr. & Mrs. Eric S. and Lori Lander McGuireWoods LLP Merck Partnership for Giving Myron D. Miller Stephen T. Milligan, in memory of Marguerite Donnelly Jennifer and David Millstone Hershey and Susan Moss Paul Murray New York Society for Ethical Culture Nora Ephron & Nicholas Pileggi Foundation Augustus and Lisbeth Oliver Kevin L. Palmer Beth Pfeiffer David Rabin Harold D. and Leilee W. Reiter Drs. Steven Safyer and Paula Marcus Frederick and Shirley Salzer Aliza Sarid Philip and Kathy Seligmann Ryan Senser Robert Shainheit and Laura Blanco Zoe Tananbaum Carol H. Tolan The William F. and Doris W. Oliver Foundation James K. Williams III and Shirley Williams Yo La Tengo, Inc. Gabriel Zimmerman
$1,000 TO $2,499 A Soldier of God, Jimmy Abraham Fuchsberg Family Foundation, Inc. William Abrams and Julie Salamon Joe Allen Esmond and Marsha Alleyne Joseph Philip Forte, Esq. Attias Family Foundation Tracy L. Austin Avenue Capital Group Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bakersmith Baumol Family Foundation Julian Bellenghi Rita and William Bender Charles and Rachel Bernheim Anne Bittner Lowell and April Blankfort David Boettger Benjamin Brafman The Broude Family Trust Mary Bundy Steven Burrall Bruce and Bettina S. Buschel Robert and Paula Butler Cecily M. Carson Americo Cascella Richard and Lisa Cashin The Casler-Livingston Foundation
Robert Flippin Robert and Deborah Chalfin, in honor of Risa and Benjamin Chaflin Changing Our World David and Julie Chernow The Chiuchiarelli Family Foundation Charles E. and Dee A. Clayman Neil R. Constable Roy and Susan Coppedge Daniel Cowin Craig E. Lighty Fund Davis, Polk & Wardwell Anne S. Dayton Matthew and Elizabeth Deeb Anne L. Detmer and Charles Kenney Diamondston Foundation, Inc. Sherri DiMarco Daniel Dolgin and Loraine Gardner Alain Dougnagio Shirley A. Duffy Mary M. Dunbar Francis Dunleavy Senator Rodney Ellis Charles and Elaine Engelstein The Eshe Fund Dennis Esposito Findlay Family Foundation Wayne Forte, Entourage Talent Associates John M. Frawley and Jane L. Hagy Seth Freeman Mr. and Mrs. Feliks Frenkel Robert Friede Paul Friedman Robert Friedman and Anita Davidson Foster and Lynn Friess Scott Palmer Fuhrman Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman & Mackauf Martin Garbus, Davis & Gilbert LLP The Genworth Foundation Gess Donor Fund Elise and Neil Getz Luicis, LLC Lawrence Goichman Adam Goldsmith Google Matching Gifts Ruth Grant Robert Grass Miriam B. Greenberger Charles Grodin Jim Guerinot Mr. and Mrs. Scott Gygi Edward Hass Kim Haglund Erica Hahn Kathryn and Craig Hall Foundation/ Kristina Hall Hasler Jeff Hamond and Mauri A. Ziff, PhD Elizabeth Hargrave and Matthew Cohen James Harvey William A. Hecht and Barbara L. Houlihan John and Margaret Herke Ann Hirsch and Andy Bailey Howard and Alice P. Howard Mr. and Mrs. Dick Hyman Mark M. Iger Norma Johnson and Allen Ross Anne Josenhans and Greg Hayden The Kaiserman Foundation Amy and Gary Kalkut
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT 2008
Jonas Kant and Lucy Lee Karen Karp Ira Stephen Kay Lawrence and Susan Kennedy King Family Fund Marcella Klein and Richard Schaeffer Lori Klinikowski Yo Kobayashi Arthur and Ruth Kohn Michael Kraft Chris Kramer, D.O. Nancy Kronheim Emily Kunreuther Stephen Langdon Rob Levine Alexander Lloyd LM Charitable Gift Trust Rosa Lockett Donal Francis Logue Kevin and Erika Long Loyola College in Maryland Nadine Lubka Valerie Mace David and Frances Magee Mahtook & La Fleur Mr. and Mrs. Peter Malkin Dr. Subbaiah Malladi Richard Mallinson Ann Mandelbaum Gene Manheim The Manny & Ruthy Cohen Foundation John Manulis and Liz Heller John Marshall, in honor of the exonorated The Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Foundation Ian Maxtone-Graham The McClain Family Fund Cormac McEnery and Mary Pat Thornton Mick Management, Inc. Microsoft Matching Gifts Program Wilfredo Milan Cynthia Morales Martha Mortenson Frank E. Mullin Nash Family Foundation Jim Neuberger and Helen Stambler Neuberger Muriel Neufeld John T. O’Connor Douglas J. and Hilary R. Ormond The Owenoke Foundation Bryant Page Sarah Paley and Bob Kerrey Brian Park Park Row Fund Lynne Pasculano Joel J. Paston Rita H. Patrick, in honor of the 200 men who were exonerated Andrei and Barbara Jean Perumal Phi Sigma Lambda Dale L. Ponikvar Leanne Press and Edward Hawthorne Hillary and Michael Reed Ellen and Mitchell B. Rick Howard M. Robbins and Julie A. Menichella, in memory of Margaret M. Robbins Nancy Roberts Steve and Constance Kaiserman Robinson
Robert R. Robinson James and Laura Ross, in honor of Alan and Kathy Greenberg John K. Rudolph and Kathy Gunst Joanne Sarro Borini Christen Schaffer Howard Schoninger The Schreiber Family Foundation Victor Schuster and Sanda Masur Reade Seligmann Joyce Sirlin-Rand Erin and Patrick Sloane Edwin Smith Jill W. and Robert C. Smith Bill Snetsinger Cecilia Soh and Peter S. Lau Patricia Soll and James Flachsenhaar Sheldon H. Solow William G. and Maria Spears Dr. Arlene R. Stang Mike Stein Marshall Steinman David and Aimee Steven Jean and Donald Stone Jonathan Stuart Syms Corp. Fernanda D. Tavares Howell L.T.D. Taylor Harshwardhan Thaker Nancy Thatcher The Lynn Warshow Charitable Fund Thermodyne Engineering, Inc. Michael Toltz Tom Topor Tru TV Brian Vaughan Sheldon Vidibor May Wang Dr. Victoria Wapf The Weisman Family Foundation, in honor of Fred and Jane Brooks Ellen W. Weldon Morris Whitis L. R. Wilky James K. Williams Jr. Curt Wilson David Wittig Wolfensohn Family Foundation Jeffrey S. and Gro V. Wood Albert C. Wright Z. S. & M. Wilf Foundation Constance Zalk Ethan and Jennifer Zweig
$500 TO $999 454 Life Sciences Anurag Agarwal Paul and Katherine Albitz Justin Alston-Payne C.B. Bassity Rick Beale Charles and Jennifer Beeler Karen Benedek Marilyn D. and Alan Bergman Steven Bernhaut Richard A. Bernstein The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Matching Gifts Neal E. Blackwell
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT DONORS
MUSICIAN JESSE MALIN PERFORMS AT THE INNOCENCE PROJECT’S YOUNG PROFESSIONALS COMMITTEE EVENT IN 2008.
INNOCENCE PROJECT YOUNG PROFESSIONALS COMMITTEE TO HOST EVENT IN JUNE The Young Professionals Committee hosts its second fundraiser in New York City, in June 2009. The Committee, established in the fall of 2007, has grown to a group of nearly 50 emerging leaders in law, finance and the arts. Its fall 2008 fundraising event raised over $40,000 for the Exoneree Fund, which supports Innocence Project clients with basic necessities like food, shelter and clothing after release from prison. Over 200 people attended the gathering at New York’s Rubin Museum of Art. Exoneree David Shephard and Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck were featured speakers.
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR MATTHEW ROTHMAN (LEFT) WITH HIS WIFE NANCY KATZ AND INNOCENCE PROJECT CO-DIRECTOR BARRY SCHECK AT THE 2008 INNOCENCE PROJECT BENEFIT.
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE SPONSORS FUNDRAISING EVENTS NATIONWIDE In the last year, the Innocence Project Development Committee hosted five house parties and industry-specific fundraising events in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and New York introducing friends and colleagues to the work of the Innocence Project. Each of the five events featured guest speakers, including author John Grisham, Innocence Project Co-Directors Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, and exonerees Herman Atkins, Alan Newton and Jerry Miller. Development Committee members include Innocence Project Executive Director Maddy deLone; Board Members Matthew Rothman, Jason Flom, Andrew Tananbaum and Gordon DuGan; and supporters Miriam Buhl, Sherry Frumkin, David Koropp and Bridget Siegel.
James Bogin Stephen Bomse Ronald and Phyllis Bourgois BP America, Inc. James Brock and Liz Watson Susanne Brody, Esq. Anthony Burr Bill and Shirley Campbell Carl Adam Carte Richard P. Case John and Beth Catrambone Edward and Katherine Cerullo Amitabh and Reema Chandra Dr. Prasanna Chandrasekhar Sarah Childress William L. Clay Marge Cohen and Gordon Schiff Daniel and Lois Compain Patricia Connelly, in memory of David H. Bodiker Sonja J.M. Cooper, Esq. Kate White Daniella and Greg Coules, in honor of Alan and Kathy Greenberg Lisa Walsh Curtin D.N. Fell Elementary School, in memory of Michael Daniel Walls Mark D’Arcy Kathy Davis Larry Denenberg Nathan and Marilyn Dershowitz Zooey Deschanel John DiLiberti Stephen J. Doig and Marion E. Cass, in honor of Jameson Doig Beth A. Dombek Ian and Bree Dumain Sarah Eilers and Jon Cohen Christopher Fallon Solomon Field Helen Finnigan and Steven Schwab Robyn Free Robert and Louann Frome L. Darryl Garnett George E. Ewan Family Foundation, Inc. The George Sakier Foundation Janet Gillies Brad Goldman Goldman, Sachs & Co., Matching Gifts Honorable Judge Emily Jane Goodman Robert C. Gottlieb, Esq. David Gordon Greenberg Jeffrey W. and Kimberly E. Greenberg John M. and Ila Gross Halo Foundation, Inc. Paul Halsch Zev Handel and Ju Namkung B.A. Heck, in memory of Dr. William Heck Donald Heller Mark Henry Christine Hersh Clay Hiles Frank Holozubiec HP Company Foundation, Matching Gifts Thomas Hughes Larry Hutcher Nancy Impastato Felix Jenkins James Jensvold
Christopher Johnson Project Agape-Facebook Donors John and Suzanne Kannarr Hal and Jesse Kant KasCon Inc. Dr. and Mrs. Herbert J. and Gabrielle Reem Kayden Patricia Klees Matthew Kobin Paul Kolaj, Famous Famiglia Scott A. Korenbaum, Esq. Michael A. Kovner and Jean M. Doyen Judy Kudlow Mark and Peggy Kurland David Larkin John G. Larkin Allan Lenzner Shannon Lepore Ruth Levitan The Lifshutz Foundation Marcia Linebarger Stuart and Laura Litwin Glenys Lobban John and Ann Mahoney Rachel R. Marcus and J. Edwin Atwood Dyke L. Marler James Mayo Barbara and James McCauley Wynn McCloskey Josephine Merck and James Stevenson, in honor of Maddy deLone John Merrill Bill and Melodee Metzger Jay Militscher Peter J. and Anne C. Millington Denise Mirman, in memory of Mr. James “Jim” Murphy Robert and Virginia Montgomery David H. Morse Judith Munzig Tho Thi Nguyen and Anh M. Tran Asa B. Notting Kenneth J. and Sandra L. O’Keefe David Orlofsky Yvonne Otieno Outten & Golden LLP Delores Simmons Owens Steve and Sandra Paget Kenneth Patton Peoples Choice Political Club, Inc. Bill Persky and Joanna Patton Eleanor Jackson Piel Ron Pile Susan Butler Plum Kimberly Pollak Jon Popke Darryl and Leasa Primo RBS Greenwich Capital Foundation, Inc. Phyllis G. Redstone Honorable Janet Reno Andy Riebs and Maureen Hogan Christopher Roche Robert Rosen Phyllis and Sheldon Ross, in honor of Chris and Sally Lutz David Rothstein Royce Carlton, Inc. Amanda Rubin Bob Sage
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT 2008
Tammy Jo and Steven Sanders Josh Sapan and Ann Foley Carlo Sarmiento Marcia Scanlon Michael Schulraff Stephen J. Schulhofer and Laurie Wohl Brenda Seidel Marc and Ellen Simon Dr. Ila Singh Bryon Slatten Jeffrey A. Slott Mario Small Anthony McClain Smith Nancy K. Smith Sandra Susan Smith David Snyder William G. Soltis, Jr. Sony/ATV Publishing, LLC Tobi St. John Timothy Sullivan Colin Summers and Nell Scovell Supercuts Travis Sweat Kay Taneyhill Daniel Tisch Jené O’Keefe Trigg Kay Tyler UBS, Matching Gifts Melissa G. Vail Ezekiel Vanderhoek and Stephanie Green Verific Design Automations Paul Verkuil, Esq. and Dr. Judith Rodin Alexandra Villa Dave Villano Paul Volosen Barbara J. Walden Mark Walsh Joan M. Warburg Daniel Wasser Joseph Wielgus Mitchell D. Weiner Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey and Ilene Weiss Arthur J. and Anne F. Wichman John and Marcia Wilkinson Garen John Wintemute Wintergreen Advisers, LLC Donald Winters Diane Zahn Zion Temple Baptist Church Roger L. and Leesa Zissu Jordana Zizmor
$200 TO $499 Eric and Marie-Jose Albert Debra Alessio Mr. and Mrs. Joanne G. Alkire Elyse M. Allen Stewart Alter Mark L. Amsterdam Amy Anderson and George Somero Mary Ellen Arbuckle Arizona Hydrotherapy Mr. Frank Ascoli Robert Asen Norman B. Asher Virginia P. Atkins Abbe B. and Mark D. Avart Steven Baker
Barbara Baldock and Phillip Butler, in honor of Stephen Schulte Adam Bamberger Teri L. Barr William Barstow, MD James Basney Julia Batum Michael G. Bell Bruce Berg Sally Bergen Paul G. and Elizabeth W. Bigler Jonathan Birkhahn and Alexis Brosen David Block Benjamin Blum Leta Bodine Eric Bokota Valerie Bolger Jason Bordelon Robert Bourque and Katherine Staton Joseph Brady Selina Brillantes Brogan Tennyson Group, Inc. Kent Bronson Miriam Buhl The Brown Family Dr. Joanne Burger Eugene Burnett Phoebe Burns Dale Burwen Steven Busch Ted Byer John and Annette Calimafde Campaign Consultation, Inc. Gregory C. Carey Catawba College Darline Chambers Lisa Chang Lori Checkley Vicki G. Cheikes Christ House Edwin Cies Nalani Clark Christopher G. Clautice The Clorox Company Foundation, Matching Gifts Program Rebekah Coleman Thomas Collimore Ellen Connorton Larry N. Cooley Ken and Candice Corby Mr. and Mrs. Howard E. Cotton Danielle Coutts Warren and Sharon Crowder Culpepper Group, Inc. Michael W. Cummins Obrad Cvetovich Niels Damrauer Ann Dancer Cathy N. Davidson Tessa Decarlo and Dan Goldberg Mary K. De George Christian DeCarlo Sarah deLone Mark Anthony Donaghy Nancy Dorfman Anna Dover William and Joy Downey Jennifer Downing Jordan A. Drachman and Efrat Zalishnick
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT DONORS
PRODUCTIVE PARTNERSHIPS WITH FOUNDATIONS The tremendous, long-term support and partnership of the Open Society Institute (OSI), the Overbrook Foundation and many other grant makers has helped the Innocence Project grow from a small legal clinic into a national organization. OSI, a key supporter of the Innocence Project since 2001, is respected worldwide for its strong commitment to human rights, vigorous democracies and governmental accountability. Its current gift totals $450,000 over three years. The Overbrook Foundation is also a vital contributor to human and civil rights programs, generously supporting the Innocence Project each year since 1999. Its most recent three-year grant of $135,000 has greatly bolstered the Innocence Project’s dynamic initiatives to affect legislation and policy at the local, state and national levels.
A&E PARTNERS WITH INNOCENCE PROJECT The Innocence Project is partnering with A&E Television Networks this year to increase awareness about wrongful convictions and reforms that can prevent them. A&E’s “Real Life. Change” program is an initiative to use the network’s popular cable channels (including A&E, the History Channel, the Biography Channel and others) and the network’s heavily trafficked website to engage audiences on critical issues. Previously, A&E partnered with the White House in a similar campaign. The Innocence Project’s partnership with A&E includes a featured area on the A&E website, on-air public service announcements about the Innocence Project’s work, and the development of lesson plans for educators nationwide to teach students about wrongful convictions.
To make a donation, please use the enclosed envelope or visit our website: www.innocenceproject.org.
William L. Dunn, Jr. Dianne Eberlein Meeghan Prunty Edelstein, in honor of Elizabeth Mayers and Gorman Prunty Cipora Eisenberg Stephen and Alison Eldridge Denise Eliot Michael Faccioli Jack and Reva Falk Allison Schneirov Fisch and Steven Fisch Mark and Jill Fishman Deron and Marian Florey Theresa Flynn Joseph Fontak Elizabeth Forminard Jacques Fortier Carol R. and Dennis G. Foster Norma Fox Tara Francolini Mr. Darryl Franklin James Fraser Jason Frederick Christopher A. Fronk Tim Furrow Danielle Garten, in memory of Fred Warren Bennett The GE Foundation, Matching Gifts Program Eleanor Gease Dr. Don C. Gentry Kim Giampietro, in honor of Irene Giampietro Paul and Patricia Gibert Roberta Gilbert and Joseph Barron Ruth O. and Robert J. Glass James Glasscock Susan Glassman Debra Goertz Joe Goldenson and Ronnie Jacobs Steve Golob Gerri Gomperts Shivan Govindan Kenneth and Connie Graham Evan G. and Sascha Douglass Greenberg Paul and Louise Greenberg Stanley Greenberg Josh Greenman David and Kremena Gross Catherine Gund and Bruce Morrow Daniel and Susan Gutterman Colin and Anne Gyles Stuart Hagler Jessica Hahn Daniel Hamermesh Felicia Hamilton Francis P. Hannigan, in memory of Neil Leonard Stephen and Debbie Harnik Kenyon Harp William Heck Kathryn Heflin and David Sadoff John D. Heiberger Kevin Henning Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Julia K. Hermiston, in honor of Risa and Benjamin Chalfin Marc Hertzberg Mel and Marie Hertzig Joseph and Elizabeth Heston
Barbara M. Hicks Judy O. Higgins Hoffman, Pollok & Pickholz, LLP Brigid L.M. Hogan William C. Holtzman Clare Horvath Lynn Houston Susan Hurst IAC Nancy Iaria Juliann Illescas Michael Inglis Thomas Isaacson Rika Ito and Mike Flicker Aretha Jackson Jim Janover and Marcy Sandler Russell Japikse Walter Jenkins, in memory of Michael Daniel Walls Larry and Donnah Jones Sheldon Jones Eungie Joo Jess Joseph Jackie Joseph-Lawrence, in honor of Allan Bernard William D. and Judith K. Joyce Ron and Janeen Joynt Jim Justiss Jane Kaczmarek Richard Kahn Nicholas Kahn-Fogel Eugene Neal Kaplan Judy Kaplan Ed Karabedian Holly Karr Patt Karr Steven and Susan Kasher Brian Keck, in memory of Joe Wilson Margaret Keenan Richard Keenan and Kathleen McNamara Sean Keenan Ingeborg Kelly Marlene A. Kelly Spero Kessaris Paul Khakshouri Barbara Khinoy Margaretta C. Kildebeck, in honor of Craig Stuart Karen Kimbrell Howell Jim and Nina Kingsdale Beverly Kirsch Bob and Abigail Kirsch Deanna Kirtman Dr. Nora Kleps Frederick C. and Marion B. Kneip Arlene Koby Bernhard Koenig Karen Kolbert, in honor of Allan and Nancy Bernard Rachael and Michael Kollmer Janienne Kondrich Christopher Konger Louis Kotva Mr. and Mrs. Victor A. Kovner Kraft Foods, Matching Gifts Program Anne Kravet Gloria and Richard Krawczyk Corinna Kuhl Julie Kyse
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT 2008
Dallas and Jo Lacy Alyse Laemmle The Lam Research Foundation Joel Edward Lamb Michael J. Lane Kristin Lasagna Brian H. Leahy Elizabeth Lemersal S. Lennart Dorothy Lewis Jean Libera Liss Global, Inc. Eric R. Lloyd Peter J. Lobert Vincent Loncke Camille Longino Peter Los Abbe D. Lowell Ken Luymes Robert C. MacCallum John G. Maclellan, III and Mary B. Maclellan Heath Madom Andrew Malis Barrie D. Mandel Marc and Deborah Fogel Fund William S. Marshall Milo Martin Judge and Mrs. Gary Marton Chris Masters Abby Maxman and Charles Danzoll Kevin McCarthy Beverly McCoy Genevieve McGarvey Kathleen McGauran, in memory of Timothy McGauran Dr. James T. McHugh Yvonne Mckay Matthew McKenna Don McKennan Gregory Meyer David Minkin Susan M. Misgen Filippo and Sylvia Moneti Meredith Monroe Howard P. Moody Dr. Thomas W. Moorman Pamela and Douglas More Donna Morelli Barbara and David Morgan Alan and Anne Morrison Kira Morrison Frederick Mouthman Maureen Milligan John and Louise Finney Murphy Ragnar Naess, in memory of Neil J. Leonard Frances C. Nauss Melissa Nazareth William L. Nemerever Margo Neri Gregg Newton Anthony and Nancy Ody Oliver Osborne Steven Oswald Inpakala Simon Pandian Margaret E. Parker, in honor of Carl Witschy Mark W. Parrish Norman Paul
Isaac Payne Eleanor Penziner Ruth and Leonard Perfido Carl Perrin Susan Picard Amanda and Curtis Polk Joseph J. Pomar Rodger and Candy Popkin Shari Popkin Michael Poppo Matthew and Lindsay Post Rachel Probert Lauren Rabin Yolanda Ramirez Raphael Byron B. Randolph Harland Ranney Jim Rapson RCF Management, LLC Lauren and James Record J. Diane Redd Marian Reid Jeffrey Rein Bruno and Suzanne Rescigna Dr. Shawn Reynolds Stuart and Laura Rice Joanne Richards Asher Richelli and Daniel Swee S. Rimple Robert M. Schorr Family Gift Fund, in honor of Margaret Cook Schulte and Stephen Schulte Philip Rockfeld Oren and Barbara Root William Ross Robert Rothenbach Paul Rucker Barbara Ryan and James Muldoon Eleanor M. Ryan The SAH Consultancy Kristen Santillo Joan Sasine William Sass Andrew Schapiro George M. Schisler, Jr. Kate Schmeidler Jeanine Bova Schnell Kai Schub Richard A. Schumacher Angalina Sean John V. Sell Dennis Semenza J. Daniel Shakespeare, III and Yvette G. Shakespeare Michael R. Shannon Evan and Jill L. Shapiro Robert and Connie Shapiro James Shea John Shea Tony Shih Cyd and Josef Sieghart Linda Silver, PhD, in honor of Amanda Moss Harvey Silverglate and Elsa Dorfman Charles and Connie Simonson Ann Smith Dr. Earl Smith Mikie Snell Nancy Somma Chehie Songstad
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT DONORS
Jack Spiegel Andrew D. Sprung and Cynthia Galeota St. Lukeâ€™s United Church of Christ David Stein Robert and Helene Stone Carolyn See Arch and Laura Sturaitis Anangur and Sarawathy Swaminathan, in honor of Benjamin and Risa Chalfin Michael Sweeney Gail Tanzer James Taylor Jonathan D. Thier Patricia Thompson, Esq. Lars Tiffany Jay Topkis Dr. Art Townsend Richard and Jacqueline Trezza Jerry Tull Frances M. Uitti Stewart Urist Richard Valeriani Thomas J. and Victoria B. Vallely Barbara Van Buren Patricia B. Vanderbes Constance V. Vecchione Krishnamoorthy Venkataramanan James Vihstadt Maurice Volaski John L. and Caroline A. Walker Irwin H. Warren Willard and Claudette Warren Beverly Washington Tannis Watkins Phyllis Watson John Wayne Jonathan and Melissa Webster Gayle Weinberg Barbara Wellinghausen Walter Wellinghausen Andy Welter Sonja West and Robert Fezekas Mark and Betsy Westhoff Jon and Kimberly Wheeler Catherine White Susan Whitehead Allen Williams Bill Williams Jeremy Wise John Ryder Wittpenn, Jr. Henry Wolfinger Patty Woo and Steve Poretzky Steven E. Woods Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Wyman Ya Shu Yang William and Amy Yates Mildred Yearby Alice Young and Thomas Shortall Ella Zarky Rhonda Zero David Zeto Hilary and Stu Zipper
BUILDING OUR CAPACITY When someone writes to the Innocence Project asking for help on a case, it sets off a complicated chain of events that can last months or years. Our intake staff researches the case from every angle, ultimately trying to figure out whether DNA testing can prove innocence. Our criteria sounds simple, but analyzing potential cases can be extremely complicated – and the stakes are high. In 2008, we received 3,216 letters from people writing to us for the first time to ask for help on a case. At the end of the year, 8,284 cases were in some stage of evaluation, and we had 212 active clients (while consulting on 55 more cases). As we mark the Innocence Project’s fifth year as an independent nonprofit organization, our case intake and evaluation work illustrates how we’ve grown, why we needed to build an organization to do this work, what guides our decisions and, ultimately, why it all matters. Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld began this work in 1992 at Cardozo School of Law, and in 2004 they formed an independent organization (still affiliated with Cardozo) to build an institution with the capacity to do more – more cases, more reforms and more public education. When we started as an independent organization, there was a backlog of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of potential clients whose letters had not even been opened in years. One of our most urgent priorities was to organize and analyze these potential cases so that we could begin helping more people. Today, we have virtually no backlog of unopened requests for assistance. We receive more requests for help than ever, and every year we are better positioned to meet the growing and urgent need. Our nine intake staff members research and evaluate potential cases, and our seven attorneys, scores of volunteer attorneys, four paralegals and 18 Cardozo clinic students handle them once they’re accepted. Meanwhile, our policy staff works on legislation in virtually every state and at the federal level, often in conjunction with nearly 50 organizations that belong to the Innocence Network, while our communications staff engages a wide range of communities in our work. Our development team ensures that we have the resources to handle such a heavy workload, and our administration staff makes sure we’re doing it efficiently. In just five years, we have built an institution to free the innocent and reform the criminal justice system – an institution worthy of those who have been exonerated and those who are still waiting. With your help, we can and will do even more in 2009 and beyond.
– SENATOR RODNEY ELLIS, BOARD CHAIR MADDY DELONE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
LETTER FROM BOARD CHAIR AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
FINANCIAL INFORMATION OTHER 2%
FISCAL YEAR JULY 1, 2007 - JUNE 30, 2008 Income Foundations Individuals Corporations Donated Services Events Investment Income Miscellaneous Income
$1,964,016 2,466,774 137,360 3,993,890 804,866 75,327 10,016
Expenses Program Services Management & General Fundraising
DONATED SERVICES 42%
$7,371,211 992,431 721,608
MANAGEMENT & GENERAL 11%
$9,085,250 Net Revenue Fund Balance July 1, 2007* Fund Balance June 30, 2008* *Does
$366,999 $1,111,255 $1,128,254
PROGRAM SERVICES 81%
not include Board-designated reserve fund.
OUR STAFF Olga Akselrod: Staff Attorney, Angela Amel: Social Worker, Corinne Audet: Finance and Human Resources Associate, Elena Aviles: Documents Manager, Rebecca Brown: Policy Analyst, Loretta Carty: Legal Assistant, Sarah Chu: Forensic Policy Associate, Kayan Clarke: Paralegal, Scott Clugstone: Director of Finance and Administration, Craig Cooley: Staff Attorney, Valencia Craig: Case Management Database Administrator, Jamie Cunningham: Policy Associate, Huy Dao: Case Director, Maddy deLone: Executive Director, Anamarie Diaz: Case Assistant, Ezekiel R. Edwards: Staff Attorney/ Mayer Brown Eyewitness Fellow, Eric Ferrero: Director of Communications, Heather Gatnarek: Paralegal, Nicholas Goodness: Case Coordinator, Edwin Grimsley: Case Coordinator, Barbara Hertel: Finance Associate, William Ingram: Case Assistant, Jane Jankie: Paralegal, Jeffrey Johnson: Office Manager, Matthew Kelley: Online Communications Manager, Jason Kreag: Staff Attorney, Christopher Lau: Paralegal, Audrey Levitin: Director of Development, David Loftis: Managing Attorney, Alba Morales: Staff Attorney, Nina Morrison: Staff Attorney, Peter Neufeld: Co-Director, Gabriel Oberfield: Policy Reform Analyst, Charlene Piper: Special Assistant to the Executive Director, Vanessa Potkin: Staff Attorney, Kristin Pulkkinen: Assistant Director, Individual Giving, Anthony Richardson: Policy Assistant and Database Administrator, Richard Salatiello: Director of Institutional Giving, Stephen Saloom: Policy Director, Alana Salzberg: Communications Associate, Barry Scheck: Co-Director, Chester Soria: Communications Assistant, Jechonia Spruill: Database and Donor Recognition Administrator, Maggie Taylor: Senior Case Coordinator, Elizabeth Vaca: Assistant to the Directors, Marc Vega: Case Assistant, Elizabeth Webster: Publications Manager, Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg: Case Coordinator, Emily West: Research Director, Karen Wolff: Social Worker
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 prisoners who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. To date, over 230 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 17 who served time on death row. These people served an average of 12 years in prison before exoneration and release. The Innocence Project’s full-time staff attorneys and Cardozo clinic students provided direct representation or critical assistance in most of these cases. 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 nothing less than to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.
INNOCENCE PROJECT, INC. 100 FIFTH AVENUE, 3RD FLOOR NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10011 WWW.INNOCENCEPROJECT.ORG BENJAMIN N. CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW, YESHIVA UNIVERSITY
Donate online at www.innocenceproject.org
An overview of the Innocence Project's work from 2008, including DNA exonerations, policy reforms and more.