A DECLARATION OF STRENGTH
BY THE MIDWEST INNOCENCE PROJECT
WE ARE THE
The Midwest Innocence Project’s mission is to educate about, advocate for, and obtain and support the exoneration and release of wrongfully convicted people in the Midwest.
Recent studies conservatively estimate that between 2% and 5% of all inmates in America are innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted, with some estimates reaching up to 7%. This means that somewhere between 2,000 and 7,000 people in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Arkansas are locked behind bars this very moment for crimes they did not commit.
Board of Directors
Floyd Bledsoe, Exoneree
Andrew Brain, VP
Sarah Duggan, MIPSO UMKC
Jane Ehinger, Sec
Ryan Ferguson, Exoneree
Robert Hoffman, Pres
Sarah Lintecum, Treas
Erica Nichols Cook
Next Gen Board
Tricia Rojo Bushnell
Victoria Pickering, Sec
Nacenté Seabury, Pres
“There is still a unique need in Missouri as opposed to other places...we are extremely lucky to have MIP — they’re very successful — but they also have the largest geographic area to cover of any innocence organization.”
A PROCLAMATION OF
Resistance is effective on an individual basis — but even more so in partnership. We’re so proud to join forces with the MacArthur Justice Center this year, to expand our work throughout the Midwest, especially in Missouri. Megan Crane, out of MacArthur Justice’s Missouri office, will lead this new alliance, called the Wrongful Conviction Project.
“There is still a unique need in Missouri as opposed to other places,” Crane said. “MacArthur is headquartered in Illinois, and Chicago has an obscene number of wrongful convictions, but there’s also a ton of people doing the work there. Here, we are extremely lucky to have MIP — they’re very successful — but they also have the largest geographic area to cover of any innocence organization.”
“The timing is great,” Crane said. “Both the city and county prosecutors in St. Louis have formed Conviction Integrity Units, so it seems like this is a really unique moment of opportunity. Time will tell if the cooperation and collaboration we hope for is there.”
Crane’s background is in post-conviction litigation, and after being at MacArthur for several years — doing crucial work with criminal justice reform and civil cases — she knew she wanted to get back to working wrongful convictions. She’s especially passionate about cases involving those who were wrongfully incarcerated as youth.
MacArthur and MIP have already partnered together on one such case: client Michael Politte, who was wrongfully charged for the murder of his mother at only 14 years old. Michael is now 36, and still waiting for justice in prison.
We know there are many more Michaels out there — and we’re hopeful for the kind of justice we can achieve when we team up and resist together.