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Innocence

Remembering Jane Raley, Advocate for the Innocent

Jeanne Bishop | Posted 01.07.2015 | Chicago
Jeanne Bishop

She was the consummate professional, a criminal defense lawyer who was not afraid to cry with her clients. She could also laugh, cracking up her colleagues with salty comments about some of the bad actors in the wrongful conviction cases she pursued.

Where Joy Really Comes From

Cathy Cassani Adams | Posted 01.06.2015 | Parents
Cathy Cassani Adams

I picked up my daughter from Kindergarten today and she said, "I just feel so like me today... I love feeling like me."

Dealing With the Racial Nature of Wrongful Convictions

David A. Love | Posted 12.23.2014 | Black Voices
David A. Love

The wrongful convictions data coming from the Innocence Project provide all the proof we need that all things are not equal in the application of American justice. Justice is color coded, and truly a matter of black and white. Now is the time to change that.

Why The Whole Family Benefits When Kids Believe In Santa

Jacqueline Woolley | Posted 12.17.2014 | Parents
Jacqueline Woolley

Children are empowered by feeling that they have figured it out by themselves. Upon making the discovery, they become part of the adult world; they are "in on the secret" and can derive even more emotional benefit by being given a role in keeping the myth alive for their younger siblings.

To My Daughter On The First Christmas She Doesn't Believe In Santa

Sarah Dille | Posted 12.16.2014 | Parents
Sarah Dille

I thought I'd be sad when we talked about presents and you knew they'd all be bought by me. But that isn't what has happened.

The Penalty Is a Film That Must Be Seen

David A. Love | Posted 12.02.2014 | Arts
David A. Love

Given that a state sanctioned policy such as the death penalty is carried out in the name of the public -- yet has operated under a shroud of secrecy for far too long -- it is fitting that someone should examine the nuts and bolts of the machinery of death.

Gratitude Is the Key to Opening Doors That Seem to Be Closed in Your Life

Lorna Byrne | Posted 01.25.2015 | Religion
Lorna Byrne

I love the idea of Thanksgiving -- a day to remind us to give thanks, and I wish it were celebrated right across the world. Our lives would be transformed if we got into the habit of giving thanks, not just on one day of the year, but every day.

To Harvard and Other Universities: In Protecting Students From Sexual Assault, Don't Disregard Due Process

Michael Shammas | Posted 01.20.2015 | College
Michael Shammas

Yes, Harvard's previous sexual assault policy was utterly inadequate to protect survivors of sexual misconduct -- as are far too many policies still in place at other American universities. But the new policy goes dangerously far in another direction, and law professors were right to call their university out.

I Spent 17.5 Years In Prison For A Crime I Did Not Commit

Ravishly | Posted 01.12.2015 | Women
Ravishly

Prior to being sent to prison, I knew nothing about incarcerated women and, like most of society, I couldn't have cared less. I assumed that all people in prison belonged there, and that they deserved whatever happened to them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Why It Is So Powerful to Choose Love

Jess Ly | Posted 12.13.2014 | Healthy Living
Jess Ly

Mindfully saying "I love you" is the equivalent of choosing to see all the good qualities and "loving" despite any idiosyncrasies or shortcomings felt towards another.

The Truth About False Confessions

Jessica S. Henry | Posted 11.22.2014 | Crime
Jessica S. Henry

It is hard -- near impossible -- for most of us to believe that innocent people sometime falsely confess to committing horrible crimes. In fact, most people insist that they would never confess to a murder or rape that they did not commit. Not under any circumstances. But Henry Lee McCollum did.

Where Were You? Life Goes On... Even After 9/11

Jessica McNeill Azar | Posted 11.11.2014 | Parents
Jessica McNeill Azar

It was around 7 a.m., and being seriously upset, I did what most girls would do and called my Mom for comfort. After listening to me cry for a few minutes, she interrupted me and told me to turn the TV on, that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center.

Prosecutorial Misconduct and the "P" word

Andrea Lyon | Posted 11.08.2014 | Crime
Andrea Lyon

Using what you consider to be the ultimate pejorative word to describe someone critical of your work, Mr. Former D.A., is unethical, sexist, selfish and weak. Like most bullies are.

Death Row Roulette: Innocence Revealed

Jessica S. Henry | Posted 11.08.2014 | Crime
Jessica S. Henry

As long as we have the death penalty, we run the risk that the State will take the life of the wrong person. Little offends democracy more than the State killing -- or even almost killing -- an innocent person.

I Never Knew Ramen Noodles Could Be Cool

Lauren Stevens | Posted 10.28.2014 | Parents
Lauren Stevens

If there is one thing my son has taught me, it is to slow down and take in my surroundings, giving myself over to each experience, no matter how mundane or insignificant it may seem.

A Little White Girl's First Experience Of Racism

Amanda Smear Baudier | Posted 10.21.2014 | Parents
Amanda Smear Baudier

"Mrs. W, hi this is Amanda. I strangled Jamie too. We were just playing a scene from The Simpsons. They only got him in trouble and not me because he's Black."

Today I Glimpsed Total Joy

Angela Keck | Posted 10.19.2014 | Parents
Angela Keck

When was the last time I was that carefree? When was the last time I gave up total control over myself and let life, or friends, bounce me around? When was the last time I felt that joyously happy and filled with total abandon?

Are Women Left Behind in Exonerations?

Alison Flowers | Posted 08.06.2014 | Crime
Alison Flowers

While most exonerations involve a crime where someone else is responsible, this often does not hold true in women's cases. For the majority of female exonerations, no crime occurred in the case at all.

How Shame Makes Us Allergic to Receiving

John Amodeo, PhD | Posted 06.30.2014 | Healthy Living
John Amodeo, PhD

Many of us grow up with deflating messages that something's wrong with us, we're not good enough, and we don't measure up. When the water we swim in is saturated with shame, we may not notice casual acts of caring or spontaneous expressions of love.

One Thing I'll Never Be Able To Give My Daughters -- And What I Can Do Instead

Alexis Castellano | Posted 03.11.2014 | Parents
Alexis Castellano

My daughters are still so young. Their greatest concerns are about wearing a dress with tights to school vs. leggings and a sparkly shirt. They'd like to string beads on a necklace, but they can't decide between pink and purple or green and blue. Please, can I just press pause?

Counties That Send The Most People To Death Row Show A Questionable Commitment To Justice

Radley Balko | Posted 11.25.2013 | Politics

Last week, I looked at a recent study by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) which finds that the vast majority of executions and death row in...

Radley Balko

U.S. Counties Killing The Most People Are Good At Getting Death Penalty, Not So Good At Justice

HuffingtonPost.com | Radley Balko | Posted 11.19.2013 | Politics

Just 2 percent of counties in America are responsible for more than half the nation's executions, and those same counties have been responsible for a ...

Finally, a Prosecutor Goes to Jail for Evidence Tampering

David A. Love | Posted 01.23.2014 | Crime
David A. Love

It was a long time coming, but finally America has reached a milestone in the area of criminal justice. In Texas, a former D.A. has made history by becoming the first prosecutor in U.S. to suffer criminal punishment for failing to turn over exculpatory evidence.

Missouri's Culture Of Conviction

Radley Balko | Posted 11.08.2013 | Politics

This week, a state appeals court in Missouri vacated the conviction of 29-year-old Ryan Ferguson. In 2005, Ferguson was convicted for the murder of Ke...

St. Louis Jails The Wrong People. Public Officials Shrug.

Radley Balko | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics

Attention-grabbing lede to this remarkable story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Shannon Renee McNeal was torn from her screaming children by p...