What is the Colorado Innocence Center?
The Colorado Innocence Center is a pro bono law center dedicated to freeing the wrongfully convicted in Colorado, and providing a state-wide resource center for the legal community, future attorneys, and the community-at-large regarding the issues of wrongful convictions. The work of the Colorado Innocence Center utilizes staff, interns, volunteers, and their resource center to help individuals who would have otherwise lived with the repercussions of being convicted of crimes of which they were wrongfully convicted.
Why is the Colorado Innocence Center necessary?
Although it is impossible to know how many innocent people are actually in prison, it is estimated that up to 5% of the United States prison population is actually innocent. The state of Colorado predicts that by the end of 2017, there will be approximately 20,000 state prisoners incarcerated in the state. Applying the national estimate of innocent persons in prison to the Colorado prison population, that means approximately 1,000 innocent prisoners will be incarcerated in Colorado by the end of 2017.
While it was never our government’s intent for innocent men and women to be incarcerated for crimes they did not commit, research shows that it does in fact occur. The National Registry of Exonerees reported 166 exonerations in the United States in 2016. As of November 2017, there have been 2,126 exonerations and 18,450 years lost due to time served for wrongful convictions in the United States. It takes attorneys and legal organizations with a sophisticated understanding of the law, underlying facts of an individual’s conviction, judicial system, and empirical research of wrongful convictions to obtain post-conviction relief for individuals claiming they are innocent of the crime of conviction.
Why Your Support Is Needed
The Colorado Innocence Center’s clients do not have the resources to prove their innocence. We provide pro bono services and pay for all the costs of investigation and litigation for all of our clients. As an independent innocence organization functioning on volunteers, we must raise the funds required to continue to do our valuable work. Please consider making an IRS-eligible tax-deductible donation to the Colorado Innocence Center continue their work.