Innocence Project co-founder Peter Neufeld appeared on Iowa Public Radio’s
River to River
with Ben Kieffer Tuesday after an announcement by Iowa governor Terry Branstad that the state will work with the
Innocence Project of Iowa
Midwest Innocence Project
to review old cases and identify possible wrongful convictions.
Along with Innocence Project of Iowa Director Brian Farrell and Adam Greg, an Iowa state public defender, Neufeld took questions from listeners about wrongful convictions, best forensic practices and eyewitness misidentification.
Governor Branstad announced the creation of the Wrongful Conviction Division on Monday in light of the admission in April by the FBI that expert testimony regarding microscopic hair analysis in nearly all of their cases over the past two decades was flawed. The division will be headed by Audrey McGinn, a former staff attorney at the California Innocence Project.
Neufeld illustrated to Keiffer how much the criminal justice landscape has changed since the Innocence Project was first formed 25 years ago.
“It used to be a major challenge to get people in law enforcement and prosecutorial services on board, but once we began to identify the real perpetrator and the fact that they were committing other violent crimes and it became a matter of public safety it made it much easier to get a consensus on a lot of these reforms,” Neufeld told Keiffer. “So we’re getting that at the state level and that’s a wonderful thing.”
Listen to the full broadcast