Mission & History

Innocence Project of Texas is a nonprofit human service organization that provides legal and investigation assistance to low-income Texas citizens who were convicted of crimes they did not commit.

By doing this work, we serve our mission to:

  • Restore citizen liberty that was unjustly taken

  • Reconnect families torn apart by injustice

  • Defend freedom in our democracy

  • Promote accuracy and integrity in our criminal justice process

Our Vision: No citizen shall have their liberty wrongly taken from them.

The Innocence Project of Texas was founded in 2006 by two criminal defense attorneys: Jeff Blackburn of Amarillo and Mike Ware of Fort Worth

We operate out of our organizational headquarters located in Fort Worth, Texas, but we review actual innocence claims by individuals convicted of crimes across the state. On average, we receive more than 150 letters each week from individuals requesting our assistance.

In addition to our own staff, we utilize the power of volunteers, including law students, lawyers, private investigators, paralegals, and others who are committed to improving the criminal justice system in Texas. Our volunteers work under the supervision of Mike Ware and board of directors leadership contributing volunteer hours each year.

We have exonerated (when a prisoner's conviction is overturned and all charges are dropped by a district attorney) 27 individuals. Several other cases continue to work their way through the time-consuming legal processes.

In 2015, the board appointed former board member and longtime supporter Mike Ware as the new executive director and chief counsel. The Innocence Texas office was moved to Fort Worth from Lubbock.

IPTX benefits enormously from individuals who meet and work with the Texas Legislature to pass bills beneficial for exonerees and critical criminal justice reforms. Our Fundraising and Outreach Committee benefits us by helping raise needed funds and letting more Texans know about the important work we do. If you are interested in joining either of these committees, please give us a call or send us an email.

Fundraising & Outreach Committee Members:

  • Cynthia Chi - Chair

  • Jeremy A. Blackman

  • Lael Brodsky

  • Naomi Howard

  • Valerie Istre Dillon

  • Jennifer Lorenz

  • Sarah Nelson

  • Johnny Pinchback

  • Megan E. Rein

  • Patrice Rhone

  • Danielle Rohr

  • Cory Session

  • Somil Trevidi

  • Anna Vasquez

  • Mike Ware

  • Andrea Geist

 Legislative Committee Members: 

  • Uwana Akpan

  • Elsa Alcala

  • Laura M. Baker

  • Jeremy A. Blackman

  • Lisa Bronchetti

  • Sean Bukowski

  • Marina Castro

  • Vicky Collins

  • Cathy Compton

  • Roslyn Dehorney

  • Samantha Elliott

  • Angelo Floiran

  • Monty Free

  • Audrey Fulton

  • Jennifer Gero

  • Valerie Istre Dillon

  • Jennifer Lorenz

  • Nikiya Natale

  • Tamara Parsons

  • Megan E. Rein

  • Patrice Rhone

  • Gordon Roark

  • Danielle Rohr

  • Marty Taylor

  • Barrett Thomas

  • Merle Turner

  • Anna Vasquez

  • Mike Ware

Litigation Committee Members:

  • Gary Udashen -Chair & Litigation Support Chair

  • Elsa Alcala      

  • Bruce Anton   

  • Allison Clayton           

  • Naomi Howard - Amicus Chair

  • Mary Penrose 

  • Walter Reaves

  • Sarah Roland  

  • Cory Session - Legislative Chair

  • Somil Trevidi - Strategic Litigation Chair

  • Mike Ware     

  • Russell Wilson - Prosecutor Liasion Chair

  • Anna Vasquez 

Finance and Audit Committee

  • Chi Miller - Chair

  • Monty Free

  • Tony Sherman

  • Andrea Geist