Arizona Republic Op Ed

How do we get innocent people out of prison? Maricopa County’s new unit is a start

Opinion: The Prosecution Integrity Program could help more who believe they have been wrongfully convicted. Here’s how to ensure the effort is successful.

Click here to read our opinion on Maricopa County’s new Prosection Integrity Program written by Hope Delap, AJP’s strategic litigation counsel, and Marissa Bluestine of the Quattrone Center.

The Tragic Death of George Floyd

June 4, 2020

Last week the world witnessed the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis, detained by police officers who looked on while a white officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, as reported by NBC. (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/man-dies-after-pleading-i-can-t-breathe-during-arrest-n1214586)

The Arizona Justice Project grieves with the family of George Floyd and with all the families of the many black men and women unjustly victimized and killed.

We must shine a light on the role of race, racism, institutional racism, and structural inequality that exists in our society and is highlighted in the criminal justice system. Any actor in the criminal legal system who fails to follow policy, or the law must be held accountable. The exonerations in this country show that misconduct by government officials – often without consequence – has played a role in 54% of the wrongful convictions nationwide and in thirteen of the twenty-four exonerations in Arizona. (http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/about.aspx)

The AJP is dedicated to advocating for a fair criminal legal system and holding the players accountable. Structural changes start on the local level. We will not stop in our fight for justice. All lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter.

– The Arizona Justice Project Team

Arizona Cardinals Team Up with Local Innocence Organization

Arizona Cardinals Team Up with Local Innocence Organization
Arizona Cardinals give $31,000 to the Arizona Justice Project to assist the wrongly convicted and promote innocence reforms.

Phoenix, AZ – On June 17, 2019, the Arizona Cardinals announced a commitment of $31,000 to the Arizona Justice Project, a local nonprofit organization with a mission to seek justice for the innocent and wrongfully imprisoned in Arizona. This partnership came about through the efforts of the NFL Foundation’s Social Justice Initiative, which is an NFL player-led platform to identify meaningful ways to strengthen local communities and the greater society. Arizona Cardinals President, Michael Bidwill, sits on the joint player-owner committee focused on social justice initiatives.

The funds will be used to provide direct service to AJP clients as well as engaging community members across Arizona about the issue of wrongful convictions, what can be done to correct them, and how to prevent them from happening. Additionally, the funding will assist the Arizona Justice Project in making improvements on criminal justice reforms geared towards accuracy and transparency in Arizona.

“The AJP’s work impacts some of the most marginalized and forgotten people in our society. This grant is a fantastic opportunity to positively impact more lives and engage more community members on social justice issues,” says Lindsay Herf, Executive Director of the Arizona Justice Project.

The Arizona Justice Project was the 5th innocence organization in the United States, and today there are 55 innocence organizations throughout the country dedicated to exonerating the innocent. Over the last 20 years, with the help of hundreds of law students, volunteer lawyers, investigators and others, the Arizona Justice Project has reviewed thousands of claims, provided help to hundreds of individuals, and has been successful in bringing home 26 clients.

Visit the Arizona Justice Project website at www.azjusticeproject.org.

Plea deals are catch-22 for those like Tucson man who claims wrongful conviction

Plea deals are catch-22 for those like Tucson man who claims wrongful conviction

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2019/03/25/plea-deals-people-who-claim-wrongful-conviction-tucson-louis-taylor-pioneer-hotel-fire-alford-plea/3167744002/

2018 Wrongful Conviction Day

Today is the 5th annual Wrongful Conviction Day! It is a day to honor those who survived a wrongful conviction and raise awareness about the causes of and solutions to wrongful convictions. Today, we listen to the innocent and raise our voices to tell them they are not forgotten!

Are you ready to make a difference? Show your support by signing AJP’s letter to Arizona criminal justice stakeholders. This letter urges Arizona to adopt best practices to prevent wrongful convictions.

Together, we can help end wrongful convictions in Arizona.

Wrongful Conviction Day began as an effort of the Innocence Network, an affiliation of organizations dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted, working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions, and supporting the exonerated after they are freed.