Innocence Project



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The Innocence Project is a non-profit legal organization that is committed to exonerating wrongly convicted people.

The Innocence Project, founded in 1992 by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.


The Innocence Project's mission is to free the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated, and to bring reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.


The Innocence Project represents clients seeking post-conviction DNA testing to prove their innocence. We also consult on a number of cases on appeal in which the defendant is represented by primary counsel and we provide information and background on DNA testing litigation. To date, 342 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 20 who served time on death row.

These people served an average of 14 years in prison before exoneration and release.

The Innocence Project’s full-time staff attorneys and Cardozo clinic students provide direct representation or critical assistance in most of these cases. Our intake and evaluation staff conduct extensive research into each case to determine whether DNA testing could be conducted to prove innocence. 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.


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