Policy Changes That Prevent Wrongful Convictions

Source: Family of Tim Cole

It is not enough to free the wrongfully convicted from incarceration. We have a responsibility to work toward a system that does not allow wrongful convictions to happen in the first place. As part of the Reform pillar of our mission, we’re working to drive meaningful policy changes that address the causes of wrongful convictions.

We have been instrumental in passing legislation designed to improve the criminal justice process and prevent future wrongful convictions, including:

  • Awarding statutory compensation to exonerees through the Tim Cole Act.
  • The right to challenge convictions in cases where the underlying forensic science is flawed.
  • Requiring disclosure of criminal history and tracking of jailhouse informants.
  • 17

    Pieces of Justice Reform
    Legislation Passed

  • $80,000

    Compensation Per Year
    Of Incarceration

Lydell Grant holding hands with family after announcement of exoneration.
Source: The National Registry of Exonerations
WHAT YOUR CONTRIBUTION EMPOWERS

Release & Exoneration Stories

Lydell Grant

Released & Exonerationed

Convicted:
  2012
Sentence:
  Life
Released:
  2019
Exonerated:
 
READ THEIR STORY
Group photo at courthouse with Dennis Lee Allen holding exoneration paperwork
Source: Innocence Project of Texas
WHAT YOUR CONTRIBUTION EMPOWERS

Release & Exoneration Stories

Dennis Lee Allen

Released & Exonerationed

Convicted:
  2012
Sentence:
  Life
Released:
  2014
Exonerated:
 
READ THEIR STORY
Group photo with Anna Vasquez
Source: Innocence Project of Texas
WHAT YOUR CONTRIBUTION EMPOWERS

Release & Exoneration Stories

Anna Vasquez

Released & Exonerationed

Convicted:
  1998
Sentence:
  15 Years
Released:
  2012
Exonerated:
 
READ THEIR STORY

Our Policy Priorities

  • Reforms to address “junk” science
  • stop u​​nreliable jailhouse informant testimony
  • Whistleblower protections for law enforcement
  • Legal mechanisms for the wrongfully convicted to appeal based on new, non-scientific evidence of innocence
  • Strengthening the oversight of local and state forensic laboratories

Systemic Failures Have Wrongly
Imprisoned Thousands of Texans.

The Generosity of Their Fellow Citizens Can Provide Them
The Freedom They Deserve.

Innocence Project of Texas grey star icon