Wrongfully Convicted

  • Alaska Innocence Project - Provides legal, educational, and charitable services to identify and exonerate individuals who have been wrongfully convicted in Alaska. AIP suggests and implements policies, practices and reforms that will prevent wrongful convictions and hasten the identification and release of innocent persons. 

  • Arizona Justice Project - The Arizona Justice Project is primarily a volunteer-based organization that reviews and assists in cases of actual innocence or cases in which a manifest injustice has occurred. Accepts both DNA and non-DNA cases and represents indigent Arizona inmates whose claims of innocence have gone unheeded. Conducts post-conviction DNA testing in cases of forcible rape, murder, and non-negligent homicide cases, shaken baby syndrome and arson and other cases where the testing might demonstrate actual innocence.

  • California Innocence Project - Accepts cases of actual innocence in Southern California; DNA and non-DNA cases; requires three or more years left to serve. Focuses on cases involving shaken baby syndrome, police misconduct, ineffective counsel, fire investigation, firearms and fingerprint analysis, false confessions, prosecutorial misconduct, death penalty issues and more.

  • Center on Wrongful Convictions - CWC will consider cases of actual innocence: The person seeking assistance must be in no way responsible for the crimes of which he or she was convicted. Post-conviction status: The trial must be completed and have resulted in a conviction and sentence. Focus on erroneous eyewitness identification, false and coerced confessions, official misconduct, inadequate legal defense, false or misleading forensic evidence and jailhouse informant testimony.

  • Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth - The Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth (CWCY) is the only innocence project in the country that focuses exclusively on individuals who were convicted or accused of crimes when they were adolescents or younger. The CWCY is dedicated to identifying, investigating, and litigating credible innocence claims of wrongfully convicted young people and preventing future wrongful convictions.

  • Center on Wrongful Convictions - Women's Project - The Women's Project of the Center on Wrongful Convictions focuses both on litigation aimed at exonerating women in prison for crimes they did not commit and on public education aimed at raising awareness of the factors that lead to their convictions.

  • Centurion Ministries, Inc. - Centurion Ministries is an advocacy and investigative organization that considers cases of factual innocence primarily in murder and rape cases carrying Life or Death sentences, but other cases of factual innocence may be considered. Does not take on accidental death, self-defense cases, or cases where the defendant had any involvement whatsoever in the crime for which he/she was convicted. Prisoners fitting the above criteria may send a letter (four pages or less) outlining the facts of the case, with a summary including the following points: what you were convicted of; brief description of the crime; why were you arrested and taken to trial; what evidence was used to convict you; and what evidence there is that points toward your innocence. DO NOT SEND ANY OTHER MATERIALS. Also publishes a newsletter every six months; write to be placed on our mailing list.

  • Chicago Innocence Project - The Chicago Innocence Project investigates cases in which prisoners may have been convicted of crimes they did not commit, with priority to murder cases that resulted in sentences of death or life without parole. CIP involves college students, community residents, private investigators and journalists in the reporting process. Does not represent clients in criminal cases, but after our investigation is completed, outside counsel may bring new evidence of innocence to court. The fundamental goal is to expose and remedy wrongdoing by the criminal justice system.

  • Colorado Innocence Project - The CIP is not a substitute for the traditional methods of appealing a conviction.  Therefore, the CIP will not take cases in which the defendant already has a lawyer, or is entitled to a lawyer at state expense. The CIP will not take a case unless there is a genuine and provable claim of innocence. The CIP gets involved only when the traditional methods of appealing a conviction have failed. Only Colorado cases arising in Colorado will be accepted (state and federal).

  • Committee for Public Counsel Services Innocence Program - The Program seeks to: (1) identify potentially meritorious Massachusetts innocence claims; (2) assign experienced attorneys to litigate such claims, (3) supervise and train lawyers handling innocence cases, and (4) administer funds to support post-conviction investigation, forensic consultation and testing. A case may be eligible for assistance from the CPCS Innocence Program whether or not DNA evidence might be available to establish innocence. Highest priority is given to cases involving serious felonies for which the defendant is currently serving a substantial sentence.

  • Connecticut Innocence Project - Cases accepted: cases of actual innocence in Connecticut; DNA and non-DNA cases. Sentence must include at least a ten year period of incarceration and be no less than five years from estimated release date. There must be some new evidence in the case which would establish innocence. Prisoner must be indigent. 

  • The Exoneration Initiative - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in New York; DNA and non-DNA cases (specializes in non-DNA); no sentence requirements.

  • Georgia Innocence Project - GIP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit. The Project works to secure post-conviction DNA testing for Georgia and Alabama inmates where DNA analysis could prove guilt or innocence and adequate DNA testing was not available at trial.

  • Georgia Innocence Project (Alabama Initiative) - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Alabama; DNA cases only (but will consider all forensic evidence cases); no sentence requirements. GIP investigates only those cases in which DNA evidence not previously tested might prove innocence.

  • Hawaii Innocence Project - Cases accepted for prisoners who are currently incarcerated, serving a lengthy sentence, convicted in Hawaii (although they may be incarcerated elsewhere), has a credible claim of actual, factual innocence of the crime(s) for which the person is incarcerated AND evidence potentially exists which could support the claim of factual innocence.

  • Idaho Innocence Project - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Idaho and eastern Oregon; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements.

  • Idaho Innocence Project (Eastern Oregon) - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Idaho and eastern Oregon; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements.

  • Illinois Innocence Project - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Illinois; DNA and non-DNA cases; four or more years left to serve. The prisoner must be seeking to establish his/her actual innocence of the crime(s). The following factors are considered: absence of physical evidence, reliability of eye witnesses, identification of alternative suspects, police or prosecutorial misconduct and inconsistency of the nature of the crime as compared to the background of the prisoner.

  • Innocence and Justice Clinic - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in North Carolina; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements.

  • Innocence and Justice Project - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in New Mexico; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements.

  • Innocence Matters - A very small number of post-conviction cases are accepted where Innocence Matters assumes the role of the lead lawyer, but only if the following criteria are met: the defendant is indigent; the accused is factually innocent and willing to submit to and pass a polygraph exam; case originates in Los Angeles County; he or she has already been rejected by a California Innocence Project; and Innocence Matters is not already at capacity. To be considered for Direct Post-Conviction Representation, send a letter to the above address.

  • Innocence Project - All cases for consideration should be mailed to the above address with a brief factual summary of the case, including the specific charges and convictions and a list of the evidence used. No other documents should be submitted for initial review. The Innocence Project only accepts cases on post-conviction appeal in which DNA testing can prove innocence. If the case does not involve biological evidence or DNA, check to see if there is another program that provides broader legal and investigative assistance. We are NOT currently accepting new cases from California, Ohio, Washington, or Wisconsin (check state listings for those states).

  • Innocence Project of Florida - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Florida; DNA cases only; no sentence requirements. Screens and investigate cases in which meritorious innocence claims are identified; secure DNA testing when biological evidence exists; advocate for the release of each inmate excluded from criminal responsibility by the highly critical analysis; provide transitional and aftercare services to exonerees; and advocate for necessary criminal justice reform to avoid wrongful incarcerations in the future.

  • Innocence Project of Iowa - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Iowa; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements; preference for substantial sentences.

  • Innocence Project of Minnesota (MN, ND, & SD) - Cases Accepted: cases of actual innocence in MN, ND and SD with DNA evidence, and non-DNA cases (MN); no sentence requirements. Considerations include eyewitness misidentification, junk science, false confessions, government misconduct, informant testimony, bad defense lawyering and other factors.

  • Innocence Project of Texas - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Texas; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements.

  • Innocence Project New Orleans - See Louisiana listing.

  • Innocence Project Northwest Clinic - Cases accepted: Prisoner unable to afford counsel; no longer has the right to appointed counsel; has completed the direct appeals process; has at least three years of prison time remaining to be served; has a claim of actual innocence that can be proven through DNA testing or other newly discovered evidence; and has no involvement in the crime whatsoever.

  • Innocence Project (Virginia) - Cases Accepted: cases of actual innocence in Virginia; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements.

  • Justice Brandeis Innocence Project Brandeis University - The Justice Brandeis Innocence Project is one of the few projects around the country that uses journalistic methods as a primary tool. Although the project consults with attorneys and academic experts in criminal justice, JBIP depends on investigative reporting techniques to probe cases of likely wrongful conviction because often there is no DNA to test.

  • Justice: Denied - Magazine for the wrongfully convicted. Publishes prisoners' stories only.

  • Kentucky Innocence Project - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Kentucky; DNA and non-DNA cases; minimum 10-year sentence.

  • The Last Resort Innocence Project - Cases accepted: Actual innocence; DNA and non-DNA; must have been convicted in New Jersey.

  • Medill Justice Project - The Medill Justice Project investigates potentially wrongful murder convictions. To be considered, a case must meet all of the following criteria: The crime must have taken place no more than 250 miles from Evanston, IL; charges must include murder; the case must have been heard by the state appellate court and sentence affirmed; prisoner must claim actual innocence.

  • Michigan Innocence Clinic - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Michigan; non-DNA cases only; no sentence requirements. You must not be currently represented by counsel and the crime and conviction must have occurred in Michigan. Eyewitness misidentification, junk science, false confessions, government misconduct, jailhouse informant testimony, bad lawyering and other factors are considered.

  • Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project - Cases accepted: DNA and non-DNA cases; substantial time left on sentence; DC, MD and VA. Factors considered: inadequate defense counsel, mistaken eyewitness identifications, false confessions, junk science and lab fraud, prisoner incentivized testimony, police and prosecutorial misconduct, lack of adequate post-conviction remedies.

  • Midwest Innocence Project (AR, KS, MO, IA & NE) - The MIP is dedicated to the investigation, litigation and exoneration of wrongfully convicted men and women in the following states: AR, KS, MO, IA and NE. Applicant must claim actual innocence, in other words, that he/she did not participate in the crime; has more than ten years left to serve on his/her sentence and/or the applicant must register as a sex offender; is not currently represented by an attorney and has NOT received the death penalty. MIP does NOT accept cases of self-defense.

  • Mississippi Innocence Project - Cases Accepted: cases of actual innocence in north Mississippi and Northern Louisiana; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements.

  • Montana Innocence Project - Cases accepted: DNA and non-DNA cases. Prisoners must have been convicted of a felony crime in a Montana state or federal court; must have completed trial, sentencing and direct appeals; must not currently be represented by an attorney or have access to a public defender. Priority is given to cases where convincing and corroborating evidence can establish actual innocence. MIP is unlikely to accept a case without independent and verifiable evidence to support the prisoner's claims.

  • Nebraska Innocence Project - Cases accepted must meet the following criteria: The prisoner alleges actual innocence (versus unfair treatment by the justice system); there is biological evidence such as blood or semen that can be subjected to DNA testing to prove innocence conclusively; and the prisoner is not represented by an attorney. NIP may consider non-DNA cases in which new evidence exists in the future, but currently gives priority to those with biological evidence.

  • New England Innocence Project (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, & VT) - Cases accepted: Cases adjudicated in one of the six New England states (MA, VT, RI, ME, NH and CT) in which the inmate has a claim of factual innocence; DNA and non-DNA cases; must be in custody, but no time requirement; will consider arson and shaken baby syndrome cases and may consider child abuse cases. Also will consider cases involving invalidated forensic science, false confessions, jailhouse informant testimony, police/prosecutorial misconduct and poor defense lawyering.

  • North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence - Criteria for accepted cases: Must have been convicted of a felony committed in North Carolina; assert a credible claim of innocence (did not commit or have any involvement in the crime); have no more rights to appeal; be currently unrepresented by an attorney; have the possibility of new evidence that was not previously presented at trial or heard in a post-conviction motion; be claiming innocence for all convictions for which he/she is serving time.

  • Northern Arizona Justice Project - Cases Accepted: cases of actual innocence in Arizona; DNA and non-DNA cases; eight or more years left to serve; will consider arson, shaken baby syndrome and child abuse cases. 

  • Northern California Innocence Project - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Northern and Central California; DNA and non-DNA; case three or more years left to serve. The inmate must have been convicted in California state court of a serious felony or a felony involving a three-strikes sentence. Will consider shaken baby syndrome, police misconduct, ineffective counsel, fire investigation, firearms and fingerprint analysis, false confessions, prosecutorial misconduct, and death penalty issues.

  • Palmetto Innocence Project - The purpose of the Palmetto Innocence Project is to provide charitable pro bono legal assistance to prisoners convicted of serious crimes in South Carolina where cognizable claims of actual innocence or contentions of serious injustice in the criminal process exist.

  • Pennsylvania Innocence Project - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Pennsylvania: DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements; will consider arson, shaken baby syndrome, and child abuse cases.

  • Ohio Innocence Project - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Ohio; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements.

  • Oklahoma Innocence Project - Cases Accepted: cases of actual innocence in Oklahoma; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements.

  • Pace Post-Conviction Project - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in New York; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements; will consider arson, shaken baby syndrome and child abuse cases.

  • Penal Law Project - The program's primary purpose is to provide legal information and research for those held in California state prisons. Some of the legal questions addressed include issues of trial error, sentencing, parole, pardons and expungement of criminal records. Also provides inmates with information about their rights as prisoners.

  • Reinvestigation Project - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence for felony convictions in Manhattan and the Bronx. The client is assigned to OAD on appeal; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements.  

  • Rocky Mountain Innocence Center - Must have been convicted of a serious felony in NV, UT, or WY, and must have more than seven years left on his/her prison sentence; the prisoner's trial and direct appeals must be finished; the prisoner must be completely innocent; and significant new evidence must be available to prove the prisoner's innocence.

  • Texas Center for Actual Innocence - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Texas; DNA and non-DNA cases; no sentence requirements.

  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School Innocence Project - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Michigan; DNA cases only; must be in custody, but no time requirement.

  • Thurgood Marshall School of Law Innocence Project - Cases of actual innocence in Texas; DNA and non-DNA cases; claims of actual innocence typically involving DNA evidence testing, mistaken identification, or that a crime never actually occurred. No sentence requirements.

  • University of Baltimore Innocence Project Clinic - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Maryland; DNA and non-DNA cases.

  • University of Miami Law Innocence Clinic (Florida) - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Florida; DNA and non-DNA cases. Handles cases involving innocent individuals incarcerated for a minimum of 10 years who have new evidence ranging from recanting witnesses to new witnesses discovered by students to prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel.  

  • Wesleyan Innocence Project - Handles cases primarily from Northern Texas.

  • West Virginia Innocence Project - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in West Virginia; DNA and non-DNA cases; three or more years left to serve; will consider arson and shaken baby syndrome cases.

  • Wisconsin Innocence Project - Shaken Baby Syndrome - A growing number of innocence cases are now dealing with shaken baby syndrome (SBS), where an adult caregiver is convicted of a crime after the death of a child in his or her care, due to the presence of three internal symptoms that doctors once believe could result only from shaking the child. The Wisconsin Innocence Project is coordinating nationwide efforts to bring this emerging criminal justice issue into the forefront, and is now accepting letters from prisoners serving time for SBS convictions for which the prisoner claims actual innocence.

  • Wisconsin Innocence Project - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Wisconsin (will look at cases from neighboring states, or beyond in exceptional circumstances); DNA and non-DNA cases; must be in custody, must have three or more years left to serve.

  • Wrongful Conviction Clinic (Indiana) - Cases Accepted: cases of actual innocence in Indiana; DNA and non-DNA cases (preference for DNA cases); will consider arson, shaken baby syndrome, and child abuse cases.

  • Wrongful Conviction Project (Ohio) - Cases accepted: Cases of actual innocence in Ohio; non-DNA cases only; must be an indigent Ohio inmate; must claim factual innocence of the conviction; must not have contributed in any way to the commission of the offense; the prisoner is serving a lengthy prison sentence; must have no prior history of violent crimes and no lengthy prior criminal record; the basis for claimed innocence is not outcome determinative as to DNA evidence and the prisoner has exhausted the legal process. 

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