Title: The Innocence Project
Author: Naomi Douglas
Date: 9th March 2012
* The Innocence Project Organisation
* Death Row
* Two Cases
* Niamh Gunn
* YouTube, Books
The Innocence Project Organisation:
This Organisation is a non-profit Legal organisation dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustices. The Innocence Project was established in a landmark study by the United States Department of Justice and the United States Senate in conjunction with the Benjamin N.Cardozo School of Law, which found that incorrect identification by eyewitnesses was a factor in over 70% of wrongful convictions. 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 .It then became an independent non-profit organization in 2003, but has strong institutional connections with Cardozo. As I have said, The project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. As a clinic, law students handle case work while supervised by a team of attorneys and clinic staff. There are many organisations across the world. The Innocence Project is a member of the Innocence Network, which brings together a number of innocence organizations from across the United States of America. It includes members from other English-speaking countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and our own Country - Ireland. The Irish Innocence Project (Tionscadal Neamhchiontachta na hÉireann) was officially launched at Griffith College Dublin by Doctor Greg Hampikian, director of the Idaho Innocence Project and DNA expert for the Georgia Innocence Project. This is the first initiative of its kind in Ireland and is being led by David Langwallner , Dean of Law at Griffith College. He has worked closely with Doctor Hampikian and his colleagues in the USA and Canada, to tailor the programme to the Irish justice system.
So far, Two hundred and eighty people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including Seventeen who served time on death row. These people served an average of Thirty years in prison before exoneration and release. Before I Continue, I think it’s Important to explain the difference between the legal system in Ireland in comparison to that in The United States. Death Row signifies the place, often a section of a Prison, that houses individuals awaiting execution. In America, punishment is taken very Far, instead of a lifetime sentencing to prison, Criminals are executed. Obviously, it depends on how serious the crime committed is. In most states in America, it is for first degree murder but it varies, for example in the state of Wyoming a person could be punished by the death penalty for any of the following: First-degree murder; murder during the commission of sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor, arson, robbery, burglary, escape, resisting arrest, kidnapping, or abuse of a minor under the age of Sixteen. There have been 280 post-conviction DNA exonerations in United States history. These stories are becoming more familiar as more innocent people gain their freedom through post conviction testing. They are not proof, however, that the American system is righting itself. The common themes that run through these cases from global problems like poverty and racial issues to criminal justice issues like eyewitness misidentification, invalid or improper forensic science, false confessions and Government Misconduct cannot be ignored and continue to plague their criminal justice system . * Eyewitness misidentification: Is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide,...