VIDEO -- Texas Tackles Wrongful Conviction

The Innocence Project of Texas has been working closely with the Innocence Project in New York on the unprecedented 13 DNA exonerations that have occurred in Dallas County. In the last five years, 12 men (and one to be released shortly) have been freed from prison, most of them spending 20 years or more behind bars for crimes they conclusively did not commit. The Innocence Project, which tracks the numbers of exonerations nationwide, and is responsible for a large number of them, says that the current number in Dallas County is the most exonerations to come out of a single county. In fact, the 12 men in Dallas represent more exonerations than have come out of any one place, except for the states of Illinois and New York.

The Innocence Project is working closely with Craig Watkins, the District Attorney for Dallas County, whom I had the chance to interview earlier this week as part of the Drum Major Institute for Public Policiy's "Marketplace of Ideas" series. In this clip from his keynote, Craig describes how the traditional role of a district attorney is changing.

Relevance to discerning donors? Wrongful convictions won't be halted just by nonprofits who organize demonstrations. Saavy ones, like the Innocence Project, are fundamentally shifting policy through partnerships with leaders like Mr. Watkins (the first African American elected as DA in my home state.) He's taken on the toughest issue in the toughest place and he needs all the help he can get. Donors supporting the Innocence Project, which is working aggressively across public and private sectors, make sure he gets it.

Susan Herr

Posted at 8:27 AM, Oct 31, 2007 in Cross-Sectoral Strategies | High Net Worth Donors | Peace and Justice | Philanthropic Strategy | Streaming Media | Permalink | Comment