Today marks the Innocence Project‘s annual Wrongful Conviction Day, which raises awareness about the suffering that innocent people experience when they are imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. The Innocence Project uses DNA testing and other methods to prove the innocence of convicted prisoners who have spent decades in cells. Without the legal help from the Innocence Project, most of these people would never have the chance to step foot outside of a prison ever again. Some were even on death row. Wrongful Conviction Day is an opportunity to not only spread the word about thousands of innocent people currently imprisoned, but also to call out the justice system (or rather the injustice system) and campaign for improved laws and policies that give people a chance to prove themselves honest. Unlawful imprisonment affects both the prisoner and his/her family in an emotional, physical and financial way. Some innocent prisoners never have their record wiped clean, which means they struggle to earn a job and re-socialize themselves back into society. Their families deal with a daily battle between believing their loved one’s innocence and trying to move on from the conviction. Our justice system is broken and needs a complete overhaul in order to rehabilitate prisoners, which will help them ease back into a life outside of four walls. On this Wrongful Conviction Day, I hope that you will join me in remembrance of all those who have been redeemed from an unfair conviction, and those who are still sitting in cells waiting for their day of justice.
Please watch Mr. Marvin Anderson’s story to gain a better understanding of why I am honoring this day.