Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) has grown to be the second largest free-standing (not a law school clinic) innocence project in the country.
IPNO is a nonprofit law office with full time staff attorneys working cases from start to finish, supported by investigators, paralegals and a constellation of volunteer assistance – primarily outside attorneys working pro bono as co-counsel and law students who assist with case review and investigation – at no cost to our clients.
IPNO has a national reputation for winning exonerations; both in cases where DNA can prove innocence, and in more difficult cases where DNA does not exist or has been destroyed. The latter type of cases require hundreds of hours of traditional investigation to gather the evidence needed to exonerate an innocent prisoner.
Since 2001, IPNO has won the freedom or exoneration of 28 wrongfully convicted prisoners who served a total of 574 years in Louisiana and Mississippi’s prisons between them (These numbers continue to grow – check out our list of exonerees for the most recent information). We also provide intensive support and guidance to each of our clients upon their release.
We simultaneously use our clients' cases to ask for changes in laws and policies that cause indigent prisoners to be wrongly convicted. IPNO believes in preventing wrongful convictions by increasing openness and accountability in the criminal justice system. This approach makes the system fairer for everyone who encounters it. And, in the states with the nation’s highest rates of incarceration, an exceptionally high proportion of the people are impacted by the criminal justice system.
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