We are so excited that our new traveling exhibition, “Bonded by Innocence, Together in Freedom” has made its public debut! The traveling exhibition (available to view at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum now through the end of the month) details the causes and consequences of wrongful convictions through the stories of seven men who were convicted in Georgia for serious crimes that they did not commit. One of those men, Johnny Lee Gates lost more than 43 years of his life behind bars, 26 of which were spent on death row, after a trial riddled with racial discrimination and official misconduct; while another man, Dennis Perry, was exonerated thanks to new DNA evidence 21 years after a jury convicted him of double-murder based largely on unreliable police procedures and the State’s failure to reveal that its key witness was actively seeking a $25,000 reward.
Although the exhibition covers just a handful of the 48 people recorded by the National Registry of
Exonerations that have been exonerated in the state of Georgia since 1989, it was created to bring
awareness to an overlooked part of the criminal legal system and inspire community members to
become active in ongoing efforts to prevent and correct against wrongful convictions.
“Many people think cases of wrongful conviction are one in a million, a one-off mistake. But the truth is
that wrongful convictions reveal cracks in the foundation of our overall legal system,” said Clare Gilbert,
Executive Director of Georgia Innocence Project. “By educating people and advocating for policies that
address wrongful convictions on the systemic level, we can correct the wrongful convictions that have
already occurred more efficiently, while also addressing their root causes to help build a more accurate,
accountable, and equitable legal system for everyone.”
The exhibition also offers insight into how our country’s structural and systemic issues contribute to the
conviction of innocent people and the struggles that wrongfully convicted people face even after
freedom and exoneration.
Click here to print a copy of a “scavenger hunt” through our exhibition
Click here to see the virtual “scavenger hunt” through our exhibition
If you or someone you know would like to “host” our exhibition at your business, school, church, or event, please send an email to Christian Stegall at Christian@georgiainnocence.org