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The Justice Project

Digital Darwinism: What Side of Evolution Is Your Nonprofit On?

Andrew Daley | Posted 08.02.2011 | Impact
Andrew Daley

Nonprofits can no longer ignore the world outside their doors. They can either engage and evolve and survive or, sadly, they can close your doors and move on.

Ohio Latest in Reform Trend to Prevent Wrongful Convictions

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
John Terzano

On April 5th Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed a reform bill that will help reduce wrongful convictions and improve the fairness and accuracy of our...

Crime Labs Need Independence and Robust Oversight to Ensure Justice

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
John Terzano

San Francisco's top public defender, Jeff Adachi, recently called for the city's crime lab to become independent of the police department. This announ...

Jailhouse Snitches Sabotage Justice with Unreliable Evidence

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

Jailhouse "snitch" and informant witnesses often provide incriminating testimony during criminal proceedings in exchange for reduced sentences or other benefits

Recording Interrogations is a Public Safety Imperative

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
John Terzano

Last month, Frank Sterling was exonerated by DNA evidence after being incarcerated 18 years for a crime he did not commit. Sterling was wrongfully con...

Another Exoneration Demonstrates the Need for Criminal Justice Reform

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

A fair and accurate system not only prevents wrongful convictions, it more effectively identifies the guilty and strengthens public trust in our system of justice.

Meaningful Oversight is Necessary for Reliable Forensic Science

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
John Terzano

Concerns about the validity of forensic evidence have come to the fore in recent years following a series of wrongful convictions and other scandals a...

Prosecutors Must Seek Justice, Not Merely Convictions

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
John Terzano

Prosecutors play a unique and powerful role in our justice system. Yet too often, prosecutors neglect their ethical duty to protect the innocent and guard the rights of the accused.

Changing the "Convict at All Costs" Culture of Prosecutor's Offices

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

All too often, prosecutors' offices fall prey to a culture of conviction-seeking at all costs. Prosecutors who become singularly focused on conviction rates neglect their duty to protect the innocent.

Two More Exonerations Stress the Need for Credible Evidence

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

Two new exonerations reveal the very real threat of false testimony, and the strong need for corroborating evidence to ensure that credible testimony is presented to juries in criminal trials.

Prosecutors Must be Held Accountable for Misconduct

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

Despite the great power of prosecutors, few are held accountable for violations of their ethical obligations.

Texas Cannot Wait for Good Science in the Courtroom

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

The Texas Forensic Science Commission controversy is ultimately not about politics or the death penalty. At stake is the integrity of scientific evidence in Texas courtrooms, and the erosion of public confidence.

Tim Cole Panel Begins Study Texas Wrongful Convictions

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

Of the more than 40 people exonerated by DNA in Texas, one of the most heartbreaking cases is that of Timothy Cole, whose exoneration came too late. In 1999, he died in prison of asthma.

Study of Georgia's Wrongfully Convicted Highlights Powerful Need for Reform

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

For twenty innocent Georgians, eight years is the average length of time each spent behind bars for a crime they did not commit.

The Costs of Wrongful Convictions Continue to Rise

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

Wrongful convictions occur due to a system that is prone to error. In addition to incarcerating a person for a crime they didn't commit, wrongful convictions impose a financial burden on taxpayers.

Sonnier's Release Highlights Continuing Problem

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

Ernest Sonnier's release is just the latest case that highlights the ongoing problem of wrongful convictions in Texas. And writ large, it is a reminder of the continuing struggle we face to fix our nation's broken criminal justice system.

When Will Prosecutors Begin to Be Held Accountable for Their Misconduct?

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

Prosecutors are the most powerful actors in our criminal justice system. Failure to respond to abuses of power is an enormous threat to public safety and to the integrity of our criminal justice system.

False Confessions: What Would It Take to Make You Confess?

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
John Terzano

Most people find it hard to understand how anyone could ever confess to a crime they did not commit. But it happens over and over again. False confessions are a well-documented reality.

Texas Case Highlights Problems in Forensics Lab

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

Forensic science is not flawless, and its use in the criminal justice system is in great need of reform.

Lack of Consistency Leads to Lack of Justice

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

We recently released a report on thirty-nine DNA cases of wrongful conviction in Texas. Collectively, these thirty-nine innocent men served almost 500 years for crimes they did not commit.

Missed Opportunities in Texas

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
John Terzano

Last night, as the Texas House of Representatives hit the deadline to consider Senate bills, the state lost the opportunity to act on a host of import...

Prosecutors Must Be Held Accountable

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

Prosecutors have power. They have been given that power in part to effectively ensure public safety. Yet, everyday in courtrooms across the country, prosecutors are abusing their powers.

A Critical Step to Improving Prosecutorial Accountability

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

Eric Holder should be applauded for sending the right message to all prosecutors that abuses of power will not be tolerated.

Examining the Fairness and Accuracy of the Penal System

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

For the government to reshape our criminal process from "top-to-bottom," as Senator Webb's legislation calls for, it is crucial this commission examines the causes and costs of wrongful convictions.

Wrongful Convictions Are Still Possible in New Mexico

John Terzano | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Terzano

I applaud Governor Bill Richardson for his commitment to the fair administration of justice and hope that he continues to ensure that life and liberty are both protected in New Mexico.