Building paths to exoneration

Every client has a story, and at the root of that story is an injustice

Fighting for justice

Studies estimate that between 2% and 7% of all prisoners in the U.S. are innocent and that 1 in 25 death row inmates is innocent. For context, if just 1% of all prisoners are innocent, that would mean that more than 20,000 innocent people are in prison. Here are some of their stories:

Ricky Kidd

Ricky Kidd

  • Convicted of:First degree murder
  • Sentence:Life without parole
  • Years Served:20+
John Brown, Jr.

John Brown, Jr.

  • Convicted of:First degree murder and aggravated robbery
  • Sentence:Life
  • Years Served:25+
Laquanda “Faye” Jacobs

Laquanda “Faye” Jacobs

  • Convicted of:Capital Murder
  • Sentence:Life
  • Years Served:25+

“In a country with one of the most advanced legal systems in the world, mine is just one of the thousands of stories showcasing the flaws of our judicial process.”

- Floyd Bledsoe (exonerated in 2015, served 16 years)

Rodney Lincoln Freed Press Release

The causes of
wrongful convictions

As the number of DNA exonerations has grown across the country in recent years, wrongful convictions have revealed disturbing fissures and trends in our criminal justice system. Together, these cases show us how the criminal justice system is broken and how urgently it needs to be fixed. In each case where DNA has proven innocence beyond doubt, an overlapping array of causes has emerged – from mistakes and misconduct to factors of race and class.

Eyewitness
Misidentification

Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in more than 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing.

Flawed
Forensics

We have identified three disciplines that recent progress in forensic science has shown to be particularly problematic: the microscopic comparison of hairs, forensic odontology and bite mark comparisons, and fire scene or arson investigations.

False
Confessions

In more than 25% of DNA exoneration cases, innocent defendants made incriminating statements, delivered outright confessions, or pled guilty. These cases show that confessions are not always prompted by internal knowledge or actual guilt, but are sometimes motivated by external influences.

Clemency petition for Marcellus Williams