GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In honor of the 10th International Wrongful Conviction Day on Monday, organizations across the country will work to raise awareness about the causes and remedies of wrongful conviction and the impacts on innocent people and their families.
Since 1979, more than 3,300 wrongful convictions have been uncovered across the U.S. The Cooley Law School Innocence Project is responsible for eight of those. The project was founded in 2001 as the only post-conviction DNA innocence organization in Michigan.
Run by students under the supervision of attorneys, the Innocence Project has screened more than 6,000 cases and exonerated Kenneth Wyniemko (2003), Nathaniel Hatchett (2008), Donya Davis (2014), LeDura Watkins (2017), Corey McCall (2021), Kenneth Nixon (2021), Gilbert Poole (2021), George DeJesus (2022). It also helped to exonerate Lacino Hamilton and Ramon Ward, both in 2020, as well as Terance Calhoun and Melvin DeJesus, both in 2022.
On Monday, in partnership with Warner Norcross + Judd LLP, the Innocence Project will recognize International Wrongful Conviction Day with a free panel discussion. Panelists will include Nixon, Poole, George, and Melvin DeJesus.