The Wisconsin Innocence Project seeks to exonerate the innocent, educate students, and reform the criminal justice system by identifying and remedying the causes of wrongful convictions.
The Wisconsin Innocence Project (WIP) was founded in 1998 by Professors Keith Findley and John Pray. WIP seeks to exonerate the innocent, educate students, and reform the criminal justice system by identifying and remedying the causes of wrongful convictions. Since its founding, WIP has been nationally recognized for its clinical legal educational program at the University of Wisconsin Law School. WIP was one of the earliest innocence programs in the country and has been a leader in the international Innocence Movement.
Since its founding, WIP has successfully freed twenty wrongfully convicted individuals (link to know the cases). Although WIP focuses on cases within Wisconsin, it also offers assistance in cases around the United States. WIP accepts cases with potential DNA evidence or other types of newly discovered evidence that support a claim of actual innocence.
Reflecting the significance of the work WIP has been doing, WIP has received a series of generous grants from the U.S. Department of Justice over the past four years that have permitted the program to expand its work. In 2010 WIP was awarded the National Institute of Justice’s Post-Conviction DNA Testing Assistance Program Grant and the Bureau of Justice Administration’s Wrongful Conviction Review Program Grant. WIP was awarded the National Institute of Justice’s Grant again in 2011 and 2013. WIP was granted the Bureau of Justice Administration’s Grant for a second time in 2014.
WIP’s staff has experience investigating and litigating innocence cases with several forms of evidence. WIP attorneys have successfully litigated cases involving flawed eyewitness identifications, new DNA testing, false confessions, bite-mark evidence, SBS, ineffective assistance of counsel, and Brady violations.
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We have heard that there are people who fraudulently represent themselves as working for the Innocence Project, promising legal representation in exchange for money. These people do not work for the Innocence Project, Wisconsin Innocence Project, or any Innocence Network Members. The Wisconsin Innocence Project provides all legal representation for free. While we rely on charitable donations to support our work, we never solicit money for our services from our clients.
The Wisconsin Innocence Project is not affiliated with organizations operating under the names “American Innocence Project,” “Innocence Project of America,” “Project Innocence of America,” or “The Innocence Network at Bailey Law, LLC,” and these groups do not have authorization to solicit funds under the Wisconsin Innocence Project, the Innocence Project or Innocence Network name. If you or someone you know have been contacted by these groups or a similar organization, please contact the Innocence Project at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wrongful Convictions in the News:
Evan Zimmerman immediately after exoneration