Innocence Project

National Litigation and Public Policy Organization

Grantee Cohort Spring 2019

Location National

The Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating people who have been wrongfully convicted and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. Founded as a legal clinic at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University by civil rights lawyers Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck in 1992, the Innocence Project was the first legal organization to systematically apply DNA testing to criminal justice—not as a means to convict but as a tool to reveal innocence in cases of wrongful conviction. Empowered with the unequivocal proof of innocence provided by DNA technology, the Innocence Project has provided direct representation or critical assistance in more than 200 exonerations overturned because of factors including DNA testing, new scientific evidence, conviction reinvestigations, and more.

With support from Art for Justice, The Innocence Project partnered with the renowned national storytelling and archiving program StoryCorps on a project to preserve the experiences of people who have been wrongfully convicted and incarcerated, by recording their stories in their own words. These first-person narratives were shared and amplified locally and nationwide through StoryCorps programming and will be archived in the Library of Congress.