Witness to Innocence

Trailer: 'The Gathering'. See 2016 WTI FILM tab on left for more information!

"OF COURSE WE REJOICE WHEN WE HEAR OF ONE MORE INNOCENT SOUL WHO IS EXONERATED FROM DEATH ROW. But what happens afterwards to help them reweave the shredded fabric of their lives? Very little – EXCEPT for WTI. Even more, WTI dignifies exonerees by giving them a platform to speak their truth to the nation to HELP reform a broken system. Of all the groups I admire and support, none tops WTI.
I urge you to support them generously!"
– Sister Helen Prejean

Check out our current e-newsletter looking back on 2016 and forward to 2017!

Join Us • Stand With Us • Let's Make History

Our Mission

Witness to Innocence (WTI) is the only national organization in the United States composed of and led by exonerated death row survivors and their family members. The mission of WTI is to abolish the death penalty by empowering exonerated death row survivors and their loved ones to become effective leaders in the abolition movement. WTI actively challenges political leaders and the public to grapple with the reality of a fatally flawed criminal justice system that sends innocent people to death row. WTI also seeks ways to support death row survivors and their loved ones as they confront the challenges of life after exoneration.

 

Our History

Founded in 2003 by Sister Helen Prejean, internationally renowned anti-death penalty activist, and Ray Krone, the 100th person exonerated from death row in the United States, Witness to Innocence (WTI) began as a project of the New Orleans-based Moratorium Campaign Education Fund. Two years later WTI moved to Philadelphia, PA, where it transformed itself into one of the most powerful and unique anti-death penalty organizations in the United States.

Our exoneree members have educated tens of thousands of Americans through speaking events at colleges, universities, professional associations, academic conferences, law schools, faith communities, K-12 schools, and civic groups. They have testified before state legislatures, met with government officials and world leaders, and reached tens of millions of people worldwide through the media. Witness to Innocence has shifted public opinion on the death penalty, playing an integral role in successful repeal campaigns in New Mexico, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, and Nebraska.

Our Vision

A country that joins more than 140 other nations in abolishing the death penalty in law or in practice. A country that grants fair and speedy compensation to the wrongfully convicted. A country that puts “justice” back into the criminal justice system.

Please visit our very special arts and culture page, where you can view video clips, artwork, and literary contributions by and about our members, including three beautiful paintings by exoneree Lawyer Johnson. View Lawyer's paintings here.

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graphicDave Keatongraphic

RIP, Dave Keaton
1952–2015

We will never forget your quiet bravery, gentle nature,
and fierce commitment to end the death penalty.
Visit Dave's poetry page here.
Read tributes to Dave Keaton's life here and here.

(Photo by Sofia Moro)

Delbert Tibbs

RIP, Delbert Tibbs
1939–2013

We will never forget your courage, wisdom, and love for humanity.
Visit Delbert's poetry page here.
Read tributes to Delbert's life that appeared in publications around the world, from The New York Times to The Economist, here.

(Photo by Edwin Tse)

Greg Wilhoit

RIP, Greg Wilhoit
1954–2014

We will never forget your courage, humor, and resilience.

Read tributes to Greg's life that appeared here and here.

(Photo by Sofia Moro)

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This video of Ray Krone is courtesy of Atlantic Philanthropies, one of our generous funders:  

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We want to thank our funders for their generous support. We couldn't do it without them!

European Union logo Open Society Foundations logo The Atlantic Philanthropies logo Fund ofr Nonviolence
 
United Nations Human Rights logoBread and Roses logo
 
 

We are proud members of:

World Coalition Against the Death Penalty logoThe Innocence Network logo
NCADP logo

To learn more about our funders and membership organizations, browse our Links & Resources page here.

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Witness to Innocence wants to thank the following people and organizations for so many of the awesome videos, photos, and artwork on our website: Ashlee O Shelton, Sofia Moro, Brian Bullock, George Gull, Marc Steinberg, Resurrection After Exoneration, Daniel Bolick, Scott Langley, Maria Telesco, David Sulewski, Talila Lewis – please let us know if we have left you out!

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This website has been produced as part of Witness to Innocence's Eyes Wide Open Project, generously funded and supported by the European Union.The contents are the sole responsibility of Witness to Innocence, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

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