Thankful for Freedom


We have a lot to be thankful for this year at the Innocence Project – from the joy of seeing our clients walk out of prison to rejoin their families after decades behind bars to successful policy reforms across the country to prevent wrongful convictions. We’re also thankful for our dedicated – and growing – network of supporters, who worked tirelessly this year to help free the innocent from prison and raise awareness of wrongful convictions and the causes of injustice.

We asked five of our clients what they’re thankful for this week, and we found their answers pretty inspiring. Here’s what they said:

John Restivo




"I’m grateful to the Innocence Project and all of its supporters this Thanksgiving. I'm grateful for the hope they gave me when they first took my case, and I'm grateful to be spending Thanksgiving with my family this year, instead of in prison."


James Giles




"I feel blessed this Thanksgiving. It's amazing that sometimes we forget all of the things that God makes possible. I’m so happy to be free and to able to share my blessings with friends and family this Thanksgiving."

Byron Halsey



New Jersey

"I’m thankful to be home for Thanksgiving. I now have a choice of what to do with my life — in prison you have no choices. Even though life can be hard these days, I wouldn’t trade what I have for anything."

Barry Gibbs



New York

"I’m thankful that I’m free and alive. I’m surrounded by good people and I’ve got my health. I can travel and live my life and I’m lucky to have a great support network."

Rickie Johnson




"I'm thankful to be free this Thanksgiving and to have my family back in my life after so many years."


Leave a Reply

Thank you for visiting us. You can learn more about how we consider cases here. Please avoid sharing any personal information in the comments below and join us in making this a hate-speech free and safe space for everyone.

This field is required.
This field is required.
This field is required.

We've helped free more than 240 innocent people from prison. Support our work to strengthen and advance the innocence movement.