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October 2nd – Wrongful Conviction Day

Today, October 2nd is Wrongful Conviction Day, a day to spread awareness about the causes of false convictions and to honor the innocent men and women who have lost years behind bars on crimes they did not commit.

 

WHAT CAUSES WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS?

Studies estimate that there are a minimum of 2,500 innocent men and women in Georgia and Alabama prisons right now. Again and again, we see the same five factors present in false conviction cases:

  1. Eyewitness misidentification
  2. Official misconduct
  3. False confessions
  4. Incentivized informants
  5. Flawed forensic science
  6. Inadequate Legal Defense

 

WHY DO INNOCENT PEOPLE REMAIN IN PRISON?

Even if a convicted person has proof of actual innocence, they do not have a guaranteed right to have their conviction overturned or release from prison. The law often sees factual innocence as irrelevant at the post-conviction stage. Because innocence is no defense:

  • Sonny Bharadia remains in prison despite DNA on the perpetrator’s glove matching Sterling Flint
  • Devonia Inman remains in prison despite DNA on the perpetrator’s mask matching Hercules Brown, who went on to commit similar crimes and kill 2 other people;
  • Joey Watkins remains in prison despite uncontroverted cell phone evidence putting him miles from crime scene

 

HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?

By engaging in meaningful dialogue and increasing awareness, you help to remedy the ultimate failure of our criminal justice system.

  • Talk with someone – today – about Wrongful Conviction Day. A great way to start a conversation is by adding a Twibbon to your Facebook profile.
  • Share GIP’s Read/Watch/Listen page with those who may not be aware of how pervasive this problem is.
  • Join GIP at 3PM for an hour long Twitter Takeover with the #WrongfulConvictionDay and our handle @gainnocence.

Georgia Innocence Project Executive Director Clare Gilbert says, “We fight everyday to do what we can to right past wrongs. We hope Wrongful Conviction Day encourages the broader public to do what they can to prevent future wrongful convictions.”

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