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The work of Proving Innocence continues through the Organization of Exonerees

A message from our board and from the OOE

Why We Have Made Our Decision

After 15 years of working with and supporting wrongfully convicted individuals, Proving Innocence (PI) has decided to dissolve as an organization and transfer our support and assets to the Organization of Exonerees (OOE).  OOE shares PI’s passion for those unjustly convicted as well as assisting innocent people in the challenging transition from prison to freedom.

 

We are proud of PI’s accomplishments and track record. Over the years PI has been involved in assisting men and women seeking to right the wrong of unjust incarceration.  This includes providing professional investigative services to prisoners vital to proving their innocence as well as to the Michigan Innocence Clinic of the University of Michigan and the Cooley Law School Innocence Project to assist their cases. PI has also provided financial support to more than 60 wrongfully convicted citizens to help ease their transition back to society through our Walking Free Fund (https://www.provinginnocence.org/team).


While our decision has been difficult, we are heartened by the fact that OOE is especially well positioned and equipped to carry forward the mission and vision on which PI was originally formed. OOE is a dedicated group of men and women who were wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for crimes they did not commit.  They strive to bring awareness and visibility to innocent people wrongfully convicted and work to make changes within the legal system that badly failed them.  OOE, a nonprofit 501(3) organization, is also dedicated to providing companionship and resources to innocent individuals when they take their first steps out of prison. 

Our three most recent and our very first recipient.

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For more information on OOE, please visit:

 

We anticipate dissolving PI this autumn and ask that you now direct your support to OOE. 

 

We want to express our deep appreciation and gratitude to everyone who has been involved with and supported PI.  Indeed, that was essential to our efforts on behalf of the wrongfully convicted.  Thank you so very much.

 

Please reach out to PI President, Bill Branham, with any questions or comments (billb133@yahoo.com).

Dear Board of Directors of Proving Innocence,

 

The Organization of Exonerees is honored and deeply grateful for the opportunity to carry forward the legacy of the Walking Free Fund. All of our members have been personally impacted by the warm embrace of Proving Innocence. In Michigan, Bill Branham's face is often the first welcoming sight we encounter after a long and arduous battle with the Criminal Justice System. Like an angel, Bill finds those of us who have endured wrongful convictions and extends an act of love that resonates deeply.

 

The reality of coming home from prison with nothing is sobering. I vividly remember the day Bill called me. Initially, I was suspicious. (Smile) I had no idea who this stranger was offering to help me when so many others had hurt me. But true to his word, he came to my family's home on October 7, 2020. I could tell he genuinely wanted to look me in the eyes to gauge my well-being. He handled the situation with the care and sensitivity of someone who truly understands. The money he handed me did more than just provide for my immediate needs; it made me feel like a man again. That slice of care, that private charity, and the dignity it afforded me was everything. Proving Innocence and its supporters have created many stories like mine. You all are angels!

 

The Organization of Exonerees is honored to carry on this legacy. Our group consists entirely of wrongfully convicted men and women. Our current board members, all exonerated, have dedicated our lives to helping others impacted like us. We have built a robust nonprofit that provides comprehensive wraparound services to exonerees and engages in advocacy work. Although the advocacy efforts reach from Lansing, Michigan, to the far corners of this country, our wraparound services are focused right here in the Great State of Michigan.

 

We will maintain the spirit of the Walking Free Fund, preserving its integrity without alteration. It is a perfect initiative, and together with the services we are already providing, it will allow us to have an even greater impact. The Organization of Exonerees welcomes and encourages all benevolent supporters to continue their support, ensuring that the legacy of the Walking Free Fund lives on for a long time to come.

Sincerely,

Marvin Cotton Jr., VP & Treasurer

The Organization of Exonerees

 

Kenneth Nixon, President

Anthony Legion, Secretary

Eric Anderson, Director of Programs & Operations

A Word from the Organization of Exonerees

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