The Innocent Convicts Film Project
A Voice for Innocent Defendants
The documentary, "The Innocent Convicts", is a powerful exploration of the tragic aftermath of wrongful convictions, featuring the compelling story of Timothy Cole, a Texas student and Army Veteran. Tim's life was unjustly taken from him due to the flaws within the criminal justice system. While in custody, he was denied critical medication for a severe chronic medical condition, a heart-wrenching example of the system's inhumanity. His desperate pleas for medical treatment went unanswered, echoing the struggles of countless marginalized individuals.
This documentary offers a fresh perspective on wrongful convictions, delving into issues of racial discrimination within law enforcement and the legal system. It spotlights not only the profound injustice faced by Tim Cole but also the systemic problems plaguing America's criminal justice system. Through the lens of this poignant film, viewers gain insight into the enduring racial bias within our society and its devastating consequences, making it a crucial watch for anyone interested in criminal justice reform.
The film emphasizes that even a single wrongful conviction is a grave concern, highlighting the heart-wrenching story of Tim Cole, whose life was irrevocably altered by a miscarriage of justice. His tragic journey from wrongful incarceration to posthumous exoneration showcases the urgent need for criminal justice reform. Tim's story serves as a poignant reminder that the fight for justice must continue to ensure a fair and equitable system for all.
The Innocent Convicts
Our organization gives innocent defendants a voice, through film, public arts and civic engagement.
Victims of wrongful imprisonment are forced into dangerous environments, helpless to watch as their families suffer through the injustice.
As an organization, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with innocent defendants, battling against unjust penalties for crimes they never committed. Our 'Innocent Convicts Film Project' spotlights their untold stories. For instance, the heartbreaking injustice suffered by Tim Cole, a Texas Tech Student and Army Veteran, who tragically lost his life due to medication denial during wrongful incarceration. We've just completed principal photography for the first six episodes, sharing stories like Tim Cole's. Your support is crucial in uncovering the dark roots and harrowing consequences of wrongful convictions nationwide. Join us in making a difference today.
Osagie N. Okoruwa | Founder & CEO
As a Wisconsin stay-at-home mom, Audrey Edmunds babysat for neighborhood families. Accused of killing a child in her care, based on “Shaken Baby Syndrome” theories, Edmunds was sentenced to 18 years in prison. She served 11 wrongfully incarcerated years, before being able to present new evidence that cast doubt on those theories. Edmunds’ conviction was overturned.
Like Tim Cole, San Diego based Uriah Courtney was wrongfully convicted of a rape he didn’t commit. Fortunately, Courtney’s story has a happier ending. DNA evidence cleared him before he could suffer and die while wrongfully incarcerated.
At just 18, Lamont McKoy was sentenced to life in prison, convicted of a North Carolina drug deal resulting in homicide. Refusing a plea deal, McKoy has spent 28 years wrongfully incarcerated, never wavering in his claims of innocence. Evidence presented in federal court clearing McKoy of this crime has been blocked from state courts for hearing. The Duke University School of Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic continues fighting to prove his innocence.
Mike Hansen of Minnesota was wrongfully convicted of killing his infant daughter. The main evidence used to convict him? Questionable medical expert testimony. Hansen served six years wrongfully incarcerated before the Innocent Project stepped in to help get his conviction overturned.
As part of our nationwide campaign against wrongful imprisonment, we are screening "The Innocent Convicts" at various venues, including law enforcement, elected officials, educational institutions, and community organizations. Our film has already received positive reviews, including a stellar reception at the Massachusetts State Assembly. Moreover, we are proud to announce that The Innocent Convicts has garnered support from PBS stations nationwide for the airing of this documentary. The program will reach a broad audience, distributed through presenting stations, the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA), American Public Television (APT), the PBS Network Operations Center, Westlink, and other distribution channels.
Across America, the number of innocent citizens arrested and sentenced has grown significantly since the 1970s. Currently, the National Registry of Exonerations lists around 2,642 men and women cleared of wrongful convictions in the past 25 years, with a disproportionate 47 percent being Black and 40 percent having spent a decade or more behind bars before exoneration. These numbers likely only scratch the surface of the true scale of those wrongly accused and still incarcerated.
"The Monfils Six" unravels a case from the early 1990s where six men were convicted of killing a co-worker, Tom Monfils, at a Green Bay, Wisconsin paper mill. Over the years, these convictions have been questioned. Mike Piaskowski, Dale Basten, Mike Hirn, Mike Johnson, and Rey Moore have all been released, and Keith Kutska remains incarcerated. The extensive investigations, spanning seven years and culminating in the book "The Monfils Conspiracy," have spurred new attorneys to reexamine the case. Could tunnel vision by police and prosecutors have led to one of the most egregious miscarriages of justice in Wisconsin's history?
The Monfils Six