WHAT IS PROVING INNOCENCE?
Proving Innocence (PI) is a grass roots non-profit organization located in metro Detroit, MI which focuses on the problem of wrongful convictions. As our name suggests, our emphasis is supplying investigation resources to assist wrongfully convicted persons in proving their innocence. We do this by responding to requests from innocence organizations within our state. See below for how our model works. We do not manage cases ourselves, though that may be a consideration as we develop.
We also care about what happens to the exoneree upon their release. The Walking Free Fund provides exonerees immediately upon release $500 or $800, depending whether they also receive the Edmundson Walking Fund, for living expenses to help them get re-established in our society.
From the beginning we have wanted to be holistic in our approach. Our Mission statement lists other concerns we seek to address. This includes getting involved in the lives of hopeful and existing exonerees, promoting criminal justice reform in Michigan, and raising public awareness. Click here to read the history of PI.
PI provides a way for people to get involved without being investigators or lawyers. Through technology, those on the board and other volunteers do not need to live in the area. Please contact us if you want to explore possible ways of getting involved.
MODEL OF INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES
In this model, innocence organizations have attorney-client privilege with the investigators. Proving Innocence has a supportive relationship with the organization and pays for investigative services, but receives no privileged information. We do not evaluate requests made by the innocence organizations, i.e. we do not waste valuable time and energy justifying their requests because our trust is in the organization, not the individual case. Most often, we respond to simple requests, such as “Can you find this person?” but expanding the scope and discussing strategies can also be provided as well, such as providing expert witnesses and investigative reviews.