Speakers Bureau

We connect wrongful conviction experts with schools, colleges, companies, and organizations around the world. Our team of inspiring speakers includes people who were incarcerated for crimes they did not commit and staff members each working to correct wrongful convictions and prevent future injustices. Book a speaker online or call 212.364.5384 for more information.

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Speakers Bureau

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On March 10, 2015, Angel Gonzalez was exonerated after serving over 20 years in prison for a rape that he did not commit.

In 1994, Gonzalez was misidentified by a rape victim as the man who attacked her when police used a highly unreliable and suggestive identification procedure. After he was arrested, he was then misled by police into signing a false confession. Despite having four alibi witnesses testify in his defense in court, Gonzalez was wrongfully convicted of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Although Gonzalez maintained his innocence from the beginning, it wasn’t until 2013 that he was finally able to prove his innocence through DNA testing. Today he is a member of the Innocence Project Exoneree Advisory Group.

Carlos Sanchez spent nearly 25 years—more than half of his life— in prison for a murder he and his attorneys maintain he did not commit before he was granted parole in January 2017 and released in May 2017.

Sanchez was only 17 when, after an eight-hour interrogation by police without a lawyer or guardian present, he signed a confession taking responsibility for the 1992 murder of his girlfriend. The confession was the only evidence linking him to the crime, and it was taken under circumstances now known to be associated with false confessions. The statement was also at odds with physical evidence collected in the case.

“I believe in justice, but it doesn’t always come easy, so we must persevere through our troubling times to reach that light at the end of the tunnel, No matter what we are facing in life, never give up.”

In July 1981, a 74-year-old woman was attacked while sleeping in her home in Ogden, Kansas.  Eddie James Lowery, who was 22 years old at the time and a soldier stationed at Fort Riley, was interrogated about the attack after he was involved in a traffic accident near the victim’s house. Lowery was questioned all day without food and was told he did not need a lawyer although he requested one. Investigators supplied Lowery with details of the crime – the house, the manner of entry, the weapon, and specifics about the rape. These details were eventually incorporated into his confession. Although Lowery recanted the statements and his attorney filed a motion to suppress them, the court ruled that the confession was made voluntarily and allowed it into the trial. The confession became the cornerstone of the prosecution’s case. Lowery was sentenced to 11 years to life in prison. In September 2002, DNA test results confirmed that Lowery was indeed innocent. In April 2003, Lowery was exonerated.

In 1991, Huwe Burton was wrongfully convicted of murdering his mother and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. The wrongful conviction was based on a false confession which was coerced by police despite them having compelling evidence that the man who lived downstairs from the Burton’s had committed the crime. Burton was just 16 years old.

Burton recanted his confession and spent more than 20 years wrongfully incarcerated until he was released on parole in 2009. All the while, he was working with his legal team to prove his innocence.. .. In January of 2019, after an intensive joint investigation between the Innocence Project and the  Bronx e Conviction Review Unit, the district attorney’s office submitted a recommendation for dismissal of charges against Burton. Burton was finally exonerated. Today, Burton lectures around the country about false confessions and unreliable police interrogation techniques. He is an avid marathon runner, and has been featured on HBO’s Real Sports
Exonerated and Freed People Johnny Hincapie

“I believe that the innocent should be separated from any and all prosecutions in our judicial system. No correlation should exist. Having a separated agency that reviews and impartially declares innocence would eliminate wrongful convictions forever.”

In 1990, 18-year-old Johnny Hincapie was wrongfully convicted in the murder case of Brian Watkins in New York. Hincapie falsely confessed to the attack after he was physically intimidated and psychologically coerced by an investigator on the case. Hincapie testified that the cop beat him and yelled racial slurs. In 2015, based on new testimony from two witnesses as well as a co-defendant who said that Hincapie was not involved in the attack, a New York judge overturned his conviction. Hincapie was exonerated after he spent 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Today, Johnny—a gifted speaker—shares his powerful story along with education on coerced confessions and criminal justice reform at organizations across the United States.

“They said if I was there and if I went along with it, that I could go home. And that’s all I wanted. That’s all I wanted, was to go home.”

On the night of April 19, 1989, a 28-year-old female jogger was brutally attacked and raped in New York’s Central Park. After prolonged periods of police interrogation, five teenagers—including Korey Wise—falsely confessed to being involved in the attack. Then 16 years old, Wisewas tried as an adult and wrongfully convicted of assault, sexual abuse, and riot. He was sentenced to five to fifteen years in prison. In early 2002, Matias Reyes,who had been convicted of murder and rape, admitted that he alone was responsible for the attack on the Central Park jogger. On December 19, 2002, based on new DNA evidence that proved Korey’s innocence and on the recommendation of the Manhattan District Attorney, Wise’s conviction was overturned. He spent  11.5 years of his life in prison for crimes he did not commit. The investigation has raised questions regarding police coercion and false confessions, as well as the vulnerability of juveniles during police interrogations.

Exonerated and Freed People Michelle Murphy

On September 12, 1994 Michelle Murphy’s 15-week-old son was brutally stabbed to death. Murphy, just 17 at the time, was in her apartment with her new son and other child on the night of the murder. Murphy later woke up and discovered her child’s body in the kitchen, and immediately went to a neighbor and called the police.

The police interrogated Murphy for several hours, and coerced her into claiming that she accidentally killed her baby when she knelt down to pick up a knife. At trial, the prosecution falsely implied to the jury that blood recovered from the scene matched Murphy’s blood type. Subsequent DNA testing of crime scene evidence pointed to an unknown male as the real perpetrator. In the course of representing Murphy, lawyers also uncovered other evidence pointing to Murphy’s innocence that was known to the prosecution at the time of trial but never disclosed to the defense. She was exonerated in September of 2014, almost 20 years to the day that she tragically lost her son.

“Whosoever continues thinking about my character, about who I am—I know who I am: I’m an innocent man that did 32 years in prison for a crime that I did not commit.”

Shortly after 1 a.m. on Friday, March 5, 1982, a fire was reported in a building in Lowell, MA. Firefighters concluded that arson caused the blaze. On March 6, police learned that 24-year-old Victor Rosario had been treated by the Red Cross for cuts on his hand and then was taken by ambulance to a hospital. Detectives interviewed Rosario at the apartment where he lived. Rosario said he and a friend were on their way home when they saw black smoke coming from the building. Rosario said he couldn’t get in through the door because of heavy smoke, so he broke several windows with his hand, cutting himself. He said he could hear children screaming, but was unable to get them out. On March 28, 1983, a jury convicted Rosario of eight counts of murder and one count of arson. He was sentenced to eight consecutive life prison terms and a concurrent term of 18 to 22 years on the arson conviction. After 32 years in prison, on September 8, 2017—following expert testimony and several appeals—the prosecution dismissed the charges and Rosario became a free man.



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