NOVEMBER 10, 2016
5:00p.m. – 9:00p.m.
The Depot, Downtown Minneapolis
After an exciting year of new work and new victories, The Innocence Project of Minnesota is ready to celebrate! As a non-profit organization dedicated to freeing those who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit, and to preventing such wrongful convictions from occurring in the first place through policy and advocacy work, the Innocence Project of Minnesota relies on the support of our donors to make our work possible. The annual Benefit for Innocence is our main fundraiser for the year, and for the past fourteen years we have been honored by the overwhelming commitment of the legal community to ensuring the Project’s sustainability and growth. Your benefit contributions go directly to the work of innocence, and to the ongoing work of making justice possible.
This year’s gala will take place on Thursday, November 10, from 5:00p.m. – 9:00p.m. at the Depot in Downtown Minneapolis. We expect a sold out crowd, primarily consisting of approximately 500 lawyers, criminal justice reform advocates, judges and legislators, with high-profile media coverage. We are honored this year to have Attorney Marty Stroud as the featured speaker at this year’s Benefit for Innocence. During his time as First Assistant District Attorney in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Mr. Stroud led the capital prosecution of Glenn Ford. Ford subsequently spent nearly 30 years on Angola prison’s death row for a crime he did not commit. Following Ford’s exoneration, Stroud publicly apologized for his role in Ford’s wrongful conviction. After his experience in the Ford case, Stroud entered the national debate about the continued use of the death penalty. He believes the “win at all costs attitude” is a problem that is still alive and well in this country. Stroud is committed to the abolishment of the death penalty and putting a stop to the insanity of killing a human being in the name of “justice”.
Currently the Project is actively investigating over 30 cases for men in prison claiming they are actually innocence of the crime for which they are incarcerated. We currently have three Minnesota cases in active litigation. All involve common causes of wrongful convictions: mistaken eye-witness identification, lying jailhouse informants, tainted and false confessions, and faulty forensic science. In each of these cases, we can prove our client’s innocence, but our justice system is relying on technicalities to keep these innocent men in prison. Though our efforts are directed primarily at Minnesota cases, we have clients from other states as well. In South Dakota, we are in the process of DNA testing for a client who has been imprisoned for over 30 years. In Wisconsin, we represent one of five men who remain in prison for a murder that, in fact, may not be murder at all.
We are counting on our supporters like you to make these legal cases possible, to allow us to continue to exonerate the innocent, and to support our advocacy for systemic changes that can to prevent wrongful conviction from occurring in the first place.
The Innocence Project of Minnesota gratefully acknowledges the sponsors of the 2016 Benefit for Innocence.
On Behalf of Joe Alexander and Maslon LLP
On Behalf of David Schultz and Maslon LLP
Agent Sheila Mitchell
Paul Engh, Robert Hauer, Mark Kallenbach, NightOwl Discovery, Thomson Reuters, David Valentini, Todd Volmers, Winthrop & Weinstine, & Paul Zech.
View the 2016 Benefit for Innocence Website.