Legal Services

Washington Innocence Project provides free investigative and legal services in cases of innocence with supporting newly discovered evidence.

Our aim is to reverse cases of wrongful convictions so innocent people can be where they belong—at home, with their families and friends, living their lives. Twenty-five innocent men and women are living free because of our work. Fifteen have been exonerated and fully cleared of charges—collectively, they served more than 170 years for crimes they did not commit.

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The path to exoneration is long, complicated, and expensive.

It takes years to exonerate or free someone. Each case we investigate comes with unique challenges that require dedication, patience, and resources. Our team often spends years locating and requesting evidence, seeking out and interviewing new witnesses, and getting old case files and transcripts from former attorneys or state archives.

Make a Difference
Dallas Akers Hugging Heidi Goodwin
WashIP Family Selfie 2019

Innocent people are living free because of our work.

We have helped exonerate 15 innocent people across the state who collectively served more than 100 years for crimes they did not commit, and we have secured the release of ten more innocent people. Still, we receive an average of 400 requests for assistance each year, and that number is growing.

Meet Our Exonerees

About Innocence Work

An exoneration is a case in which a person was wrongly convicted of a crime and later cleared of all the charges based on new evidence of innocence.

Washington Innocence Project exonerees spent an average of eight years in prison before exoneration because of the systemic barriers to overturning their wrongful convictions. Some of our clients have been exonerated, while some we refer to as freed clients. No matter what, our exonerees and freed clients have two things in common: innocence and freedom.

According to the National Registry of Exonerations, an exoneree is “a person who was convicted of a crime and later officially declared innocent of that crime, or relieved of all legal consequences of the conviction because evidence of innocence that was not presented at trial required reconsideration of the case.”

Our Freed Clients

Sometimes the justice system presents innocent clients with other options to leave prison and sacrifice their chance to ever be recognized as actually innocent or receive any financial compensation. For example, if an incarcerated individual accepts an Alford plea, they can be released from prison and maintain their innocence by admitting that the evidence the prosecution has would be likely to persuade a judge or jury to find them guilty. Oftentimes, freed clients accept these kinds of pleas so they can begin rebuilding their lives in freedom.