February 23rd Innocence Project Event

As a longtime supporter of the Innocence Project, we are pleased to host a breakfast and briefing for philanthropic leaders on Tuesday, February 23rd, 8:30-10:00 a.m. to highlight the IP’s important work. The breakfast will include an interactive discussion to be led by IP Executive Director Maddy deLone, and featuring DNA exoneree Steven Barnes.

Since the Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld at Cardozo School of Law, 250 people in the United States have been exonerated by post-conviction DNA testing, including 17 who were on death row. The IP’s pioneering use of DNA technology to exonerate innocent people has reshaped the landscape of the criminal justice system, paving the way for the most significant reforms in over 40 years. Accordingly, the IP works with allies at the national, state and local levels to reveal the systemic flaws, enact meaningful reform, and protect innocent Americans from wrongful arrest and conviction.

The February 23rd briefing will include a discussion of how DNA exonerations have reframed the terms of the national debate about the death penalty, causing even staunch supporters to re-examine their position. Most recently, reports in 2009 revealed that Cameron Todd Willingham was wrongfully executed by the state of Texas in 2004 for allegedly setting the fire that killed his three children. Due largely to the IP’s five-year effort to have the forensic evidence in the case examined, we now have the most convincing proof to date that an innocent man has been executed in the United States.

This breakfast will take place at the Overbrook Foundation offices. Space is extremely limited and is available on a first come first serve basis. If you're a philanthropic leader and you're interested in attending, please RSVP by contacting me (Elizabeth Miller) at 212.661.8710 or emiller@overbrook.org.