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September 5, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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September 5, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I was asked to join the Board after Deirdre O'Connor read a blog post I had written about my experience helping two wrongfully convicted men arrange their financial affairs stemming from civil lawsuits they pursued. I was unsure how much help I could be but soon was won over by Deirdre's passion and commitment to this cause. Once John Smith's exoneration was won, it all came together and I was glad I became part of this effort. When an individual publicly proclaims that "Innocence Matters saved (his) life" as John Smith has, you know you're part of something very important.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way to attract more supporters who believe in this cause.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

January 4, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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January 4, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I have been involved in criminal justice issues for over 10 years, and the work that Innocence Matters does is extremely important and needed to install a level of fairness that is unfortunately missing from the current system. All one has to do is look at the most recent exoneration in Texas, where a man sat wrongfully accused for 30 years, to comprehend the important work Innocence Matters undertakes. The legal representation, research and activism the organization does is not just on behalf of the wrongfully accused but for all of us. Innocence Matters aims to build a fair and just criminal justice system and it is a mission we all should fully support.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Working with Deirdre O'Connor on the clemency campaign of Troy Anthony Davis.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Spread its mission nationally.

January 4, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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January 4, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I am a law student who sought work last summer with Innocence Matters; I count this as one of the best decisions of my law school career.

During my time with Innocence Matters, I personally engaged in the substantive and practical aspects of criminal defense--from interviewing witnesses
to writing a habeas petition. I learned the heartbreaking results of bad lawyering and resolved to avoid a busy lawyer's common pitfalls. Innocence Matters made me a more conscientious, careful student and will surely lead to my being a better lawyer.

The preventative aspect of Innocence Matters thrills me the most. Our criminal law classes spend ample time analyzing various Innocence Projects and innocence work and I've never encountered another organization that focuses on preventing wrongful incarcerations. The importance of Innocence Matters' preventative work was thrown into sharp relief when I worked personally with an innocent person who has been wrongly incarcerated for 18 years and realized how much Innocence Matters could have helped him 18 years ago.

I was lucky enough to secure a board membership out of my summer work and plan to have a life-long connection to this great organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

gaining so much as a law student this summer and writing a habeas petition for an innocent, imprisoned man this fall.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make it bigger! We are consistently growing and we do continue to drum up support but this work it worthy and vital and needs to be perpetuated through the years.

December 27, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

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December 27, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

Deirdre O'Connor, Executive Director, is the heart and soul of Innocence Matters. My association with Deirdre O'Connor is four years old now. She and I met in the Emory University Toastmasters Club where we discovered several common interests that included ending oppression, especially racism and class oppression. Since then we have both left Georgia for life in other states, yet our connection persists.

Deirdre's passion for keeping eye-witness testimony bounded by known research, thus clear in its use for determining guilt in trials, influences those who hear her speak on the topic. She knows how to guide learners (law students, friends, new acquaintances) through the clinical law arena, helping many feel competent in new skills. She is fearless in approaching the possibility for precision in legal judgments.

I am pleased to be a part of the volunteer board of Innocence Matters as it grows into a well-known non-profit organization. Not only have I been able to make contributions to the creation and growth of the organization, I have come to know several fine individuals whose paths I would not have crossed otherwise. The vision of working across state lines makes Innocence Matters’ cases important where I live in South Carolina as well as anywhere else people are wrongly charged or convicted.


The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

raising awareness of the plight of wrongly charged and convicted individuals.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

grow the board with more members from diverse backgrounds. This is an objective of the current board.

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help raise awareness about Innocence Matters' work! Volunteer