Innocence Project Co-Directors Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld will be awarded Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Double Helix Medal tonight at the lab’s fundraising event at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Manhattan. Since 2006, the Double Helix Medal has been awarded annually to individuals who have strived to improve human health and have positively influenced the world.
Newsday reported that Scheck and Neufeld attended a meeting at the lab in 1988 — before DNA testing was regularly used in criminal cases — at which experts discussed how to improve DNA testing. “ ‘We would not have been able to save innocent lives and free people wrongly convicted, as well as reduce the number of miscarriages of justice, but for the technology we learned through Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.’ ” Neufeld said.
To date, 311 wrongfully convicted people have been exonerated through DNA evidence.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-host and breast cancer survivor Robin Roberts will also receive the award tonight. Past recipients include Muhammad Ali, Michael J. Fox and Evelyn Lauder.