Faces of Innocence

MIP covers a five-state area, where an estimated 2,000 – 7,000 people are currently locked behind bars for crimes they did not commit.

 

We are a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the investigation, litigation, and exoneration of wrongfully convicted men and women in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, and Nebraska. The entire process takes an average of seven to 10 years at a cost of $325,000. That cost includes DNA tests and hours of time invested by investigators and lawyers to free the innocent.

Your support makes our work possible. With over 600 people on a growing waitlist and only two full time attorneys on staff, your help is needed more than ever.

We are excited to announce the date and location of the Midwest Innocence Project’s 2019 Faces of Innocence fundraising dinner and auction. This signature event raises the critical funds needed to bring innocent clients home and will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2019, at the Marriott Kansas City Downtown-Muehlebach Tower. Last year, our incredible sponsors helped make it a record breaking year, raising over $360,000 to support the mission. As a result of these critical funds, we also achieved record breaking success. In 2018, Rodney Lincoln, Laquanda “Faye” Jacobs, and John Brown each returned home after spending a combined 88 years in prison for crimes they did not commit and will join us at the 2019 gala.

 

Inspired by last year’s success, we have raised the bar even higher and set the goal at $400,000. You can help us reach that goal and achieve justice for more innocent clients by sponsoring the 2019 event. Funds from sponsorships directly supports our work to screen, investigate, and litigate cases for our clients. Currently, there are 600 individuals on our wait list, over 80 cases are being reviewed and investigated by MIP staff, partners, and volunteers, and we are actively litigating for the release of 12 clients. Your support provides critical DNA tests, forensic analysis, and hours of investigation.

 

Representing our clients at no cost, the Midwest Innocence Project is the last hope for innocent individuals in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Arkansas. Your support is an investment in the values we all hold dear—liberty, equality, and justice. Together, we can tell these untold stories and provide justice for innocent people in our region.

More than $380,000 was raised for the Midwest Innocence Project at the 2018 Faces of Innocence gala – more than the annual event has ever raised.

Plenty of those that the MIP has helped directly, as well as those who support the cause, were in attendance for the event (Thursday, April 26, 2018).

Amanda Knox, whose case took over international headlines for years, was the keynote speaker, and discussed how her wrongful conviction affected her life for years to come. Knox was convicted of killing her roommate while studying abroad in Italy. She spent four years in an Italian prison and was finally exonerated in 2015.

Sharing her experience, Knox was emotional describing the conditions of her prison stay, the stress put on her family, and the frustration of trying to prove her innocence.

Also in attendance were several recent exonerees who the MIP has worked with, including Lamonte McIntyre, Richard Jones and Floyd Bledsoe.

Our Sean O’Brien Freedom award recipient, Robert B. Ramsey, spoke of the epidemic of Brady violations – when prosecutors hide evidence helpful to the defense.

Three women were also honored and presented with Justice For The Innocent awards for their roles in getting McIntyre out of prison. Rosie McIntyre (Lamonte’s mother), as well as Gloria Labat, and Saundra Newsom (relatives of the victims whose murders McIntyre was originally convicted of), were brought on stage to a standing ovation for their fight for McIntyre’s innocence.

Ryan Ferguson, who spent almost a decade in prison for a murder he did not commit, served as the honorary chair for the evening.

Faces of Innocence 2018 Photo Gallery

Faces of Innocence 2018 Sponsors

On Thursday, May 4, 2017, guests gathered at the Muehlebach Tower at the Marriott for the Midwest Innocence Project’s annual Faces of Innocence gala.

Attendees heard from keynote speaker Anthony Ray Hinton, who served 30 years on Alabama’s death row despite evidence that he was working in a locked warehouse miles away at the time of the crime. The United States Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 2015. The emcee for the night was Ryan Ferguson. Ryan was exonerated in 2013 after spending 10 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Recently, Ryan hosted MTV’s Unlocking the Truth, which featured MIP client, Michael Politte.

Several prominent award recipients were recognized, including Alvin Brooks, who began his career as a Kansas City police officer in 1954 and helped found Kansas City’s Ad Hoc Group Against Crime, where he served as president and CEO from 1991 – 2000. President George H.W. Bush appointed Brooks to serve on the President’s National Drug Advisory Council in 1989 and named him one of America’s 1,000 Points of Light. A consistent voice for justice, Brooks most recently asked former Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to grant clemency and release MIP client Ricky Kidd. Additionally, MIP honored Mike McGraw, Michelle T. Johnson, and Jenna Welch with the Sean O’Brien Freedom Award, presented to individuals for exemplary advocacy and work on behalf of the innocent. And Robert W. Loyd was bestowed with the Justice for the Innocent Award for his long-standing and generous support for the MIP and its mission. The evening also included a VIP cocktail party, silent and “fund-a-need” auctions, and a live vocal performance.

Faces of Innocence 2017 Photo Gallery

2017 Faces of Innocence

Faces of Innocence 2017 Sponsors