For those who don’t know, April is National Letter Writing Month. Historically, the month is a time to pay homage to the almost-forgotten art of handwritten correspondence in an era of instant, digital communication. But here at the Innocence Project, we thought the month presented the perfect opportunity to discuss what handwritten letters symbolize to us: the starting point in a wrongfully convicted person’s journey toward justice and freedom.
Over the course of this month, we’ll showcase a few of the thousands of handwritten letters that we receive every year. The featured letters are by those of Innocence Project clients who celebrate their exoneration anniversaries in April. In most cases, the letters represent the first pieces of communication that ever took place between these clients and the Innocence Project. As you’ll see, these letters are telling remnants of these men’s individual stories of injustice and redemption, as well as revealing reminders of the bigger ways in which our criminal justice system is failing.
To give you a behind-the-scenes look as the life-of-a-letter here at the Innocence Project, we’ll also feature videos and interviews with members from our Intake Department, the special people here at the Innocence Project who read and process each and every letter that arrives at our office (between 1993 and 2015 we received more than 51,000 letters!).
Stay tuned! The Innocence Project is looking forward to the next month as we share with you one of the unique aspects of our work, and celebrate National Writing Letter Month in April.