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.