Challenge Alert

Lock in $15,000 with your donation by 6:30 p.m.

Donate now

    Temple law students hope to free the innocent

    Nine convicts were released from Pennsylvania prisons when DNA evidence proved them innocent. Now the state will launch its own “Innocence Project” based at Temple University’s Law School. Temple law students will research the cases and work with volunteer attorneys to file appeals.

    Nine convicts were released from Pennsylvania prisons when DNA evidence proved them innocent. Now the state will launch its own “Innocence Project” based at Temple University’s Law School. Temple law students will research the cases and work with volunteer attorneys to file appeals. WHYY’s Susan Phillips reports.

    Transcript:
    More than 400 people have been exonerated nationwide since DNA evidence became available. Civil rights attorney David Rudovsky will help lead the new project.

    Rudovsky: “It’s no surprise to anyone who works in the justice system that sometimes the system makes mistakes. And there are innocent people in prison, you could debate how many, but there is no greater harm that can be done than a system that convicts an innocent person and send them to prison for a long period of time.”

    Rudovsky says there’s a lot to be learned from past exonerations.  Seventy percent of those exonerated had been convicted based on faulty eyewitness testimony. And twenty percent of those exonerations were due to false confessions.

    Rudovsky hopes the project will also lead to arrests and convictions of the true perpetrators. He says forty percent of the exonerated cases nationwide led to new convictions.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090306dna.mp3]

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.