Collective Impact: Shared Injustice, Shared Struggle, Shared Vision
For this year’s International Wrongful Conviction Day, the Innocence Project London (IPL) based at the School of Law at the University of Greenwich will be crowdfunding to ensure its pro bono legal and investigative services can continue to help individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted.
Your donation will support:
- The hidden costs of maintaining a pro bono legal service, supporting IPL clients in making at application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
- Exonerees after they are freed.
- Students and recent graduates to gain professionalism and empower them to achieve change through collective action.
The Director, Dr Louise Hewitt, is employed as a senior lecturer in the School of Law but dedicates most of her time to the IPL on a pro bono basis. Greenwich students also volunteer their time and gain skills in the legal sector – they form part of a global network of Innocence Project organisations seeking to promote justice across the world.
Why are donations necessary?
The IPL is fundraising across three strands of its work this year.
1. Shared Struggle: The hidden costs in supporting our clients
The IPL is able to do its work due to donations and pro bono work.
Administration costs mount up. For example, traveling to see clients can cost up to £200 for a return train ticket per person. Recently, the IPL recently paid £540 to ensure that CCTV evidence was securely couriered to the organisation reviewing it.
These are hidden and required costs that the IPL pays for. Please help us raise money so we can continue supporting our clients and process applications to the IPL.
Read more about the IPL hidden costs here.
2. Shared Injustice: The impact of wrongful convictions
The IPL is part of an international network of organisations that help wrongfully convicted individuals. Wherever they are based around the world, the experience of wrongfully convicted individuals is a shared injustice.
John Huffington was convicted in 1981 for a double homicide in Harford County, Maryland USA and has always maintained his innocence. He spent 32 years, 2 months and 28 days in prison, ten of those years on death row. In 2013, DNA evidence helped secure his release from prison. John regularly speaks to students working on the IPL and attends IPL events to raise awareness of wrongful convictions and how they happen. He works to give back to the community and consistently supports other exonerees when they are released.
The IPL working with the Baltimore Innocence Project are sponsoring John to attend the annual Innocence Network conference. Stolen time has removed the opportunity for John to have a family, career, financial security, the list goes on. We can’t give that back, but with your help, sponsoring John can help him fulfil the life he has now – please consider giving today.
Read more about John’s story here.
3. Shared Vision: Sharing the workload so students gain employable skills, supporting the next generation of lawyers
Graduate Serpil Tas received a first-class degree from the University of Greenwich. She volunteered for the IPL for two years and went on to successfully complete and pass the Bar course. For the last six months, the law firm that partners with the IPL, Weil and Gotshal, have funded a six-month contract for Serpil (to the value of £12,000) so she can continue to split her time between IPL as a casework manager and working at Weil and Gotshal to gain experience in a law firm.
This work was previously done pro bono by the IPL Director alongside her teaching and research, but with Serpil in the role, the administration of the IPL has gone from strength to strength.
IPL is raising money so that other students can gain experience and ensure Serpil can continue as a casework manager helping to maintain the administration of IPL and interns. Please give today to ensure our students can continue to learn from IPL, helping more applicants who have been convicted and are maintaining their innocence.
Read about Serpil’s role here.
Your donation can help with:
- £25 could pay for train tickets to visit clients in prison.
- £100 could pay for the cost of transporting case files.
- £200 could sponsor an exoneree to speak about their experience and raise awareness of the IPL's work.
- £500 could ensure students gain experience in the legal sector, helping with their future employment.
- £1,000 could provide unrestricted funding to keep this vital pro bono service to the criminal justice.