By Jason Kreag, Innocence Project Staff Attorney
DNA testing has brought sweeping changes to our criminal justice system, proving that wrongful convictions aren’t rare at all and exposing the weakness and unreliability of evidence that many people have trusted for too long – including eyewitness testimony, snitch testimony, unreliable science and alleged admissions of guilt.
The Innocence Project is working to make sure DNA exonerations will lead to the construction of a stronger system, one that prevents injustice by relying only on solid evidence and reliable law enforcement procedures. These changes, like everything in the law, take time. While there is exciting progress in courts and statehouses today, I think it will be the generation of young people sitting today in elementary and high school classrooms that ushers in a new era of justice in America.
I’m in Maryland and Virginia today to meet with two groups of high school students who are already making a difference. At the University of Maryland, I’ll be meeting with about 70 students at the National Student Leaders Conference in Forensic Science to talk about the role of forensic science in criminal law. Later in the day, I’ll give a speech on the role of evidence in the law to the National Youth Leadership Forum on the Law in Fairfax, Virginia. It is truly inspiring to see these young audiences taking an interest in our criminal justice system, and it means good things for the future of the system.
Kellie Davis of Alaska posted on
our Facebook page
recently that she was excited to see young prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges beginning to leave a mark on the system by treating each case with an open mind and seeking justice for all Americans. There’s only more of this to come.
If you’re in high school or college – or you know someone who is – you can get involved today. Join our
pages and invite your friends. Start a group at your school, invite an exoneree of Innocence Project staffer to speak, or collect signatures for our petition for DNA testing access.
You can get started here