Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld

Published February 11, 2008

Imagine the shame and humiliation of being falsely accused of rape and murder, and the anger and sense of hopelessness when you hear a jury say, “Guilty!”

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Then imagine your frustration as you languish in prison for many years, with little hope of ever going free.

Prisons all across America are full of Black men, convicted and sentenced for heinous crimes they never committed.

But through the tedious work of the Innocence Project, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld have helped free 208 wrongly convicted inmates over the past decade and a half – 15 of whom were on death row.

Between 2006 and 2007 alone, they have used DNA testing to free 28 innocent inmates, many of whom are African Americans.

So why have these two attorneys taken up such an exhausting battle against injustice: “Most of our clients are poor, forgotten, and have used up all legal avenues for relief,” they say in their mission statement.

 DNA evidence “has provided scientific proof that our system convicts and sentences innocent people — and that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events.”

Written by BET-Staff

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