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JessicaFarris

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Innocence Matters
January 4, 2011

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.

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I helped to prevent and correct wrongful convictions.