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

Featured Speaker

Exonerated and Freed People Cornelius Dupree

“While I will never be able to regain the many years I lost in prison, I hope that my experience will motivate our lawmakers to pass the eyewitness identification reform bill so that others don’t have to suffer like I did.”

On November 23, 1979, a woman was raped and robbed in Texas. Cornelius Dupree was arrested the following month because he resembled a suspect from a different sexual assault and robbery case. However, Dupree did not match the description of the person who committed the  e November carjacking. Nonetheless. Dupree was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 75 years in prison. After spending 30 years of his his life locked up for a crime he did not commit, Cornelius Dupree was released on parole on July 22, 2010. Less than two weeks after his release, initial DNA testing indicated that Dupree was innocent of the crime. Later tests confirmed these results, leading to the trial judge declaring him innocent on January 4, 2011. Post release, Dupree became a member of the Innocence Project’s Exoneree Advisory Council, where he works with both the Innocence Project staff and other exonerees to fight for criminal justice reform.

Exonerated and Freed People Fernando Bermudez

“As an exoneree, I believe I worked harder for my freedom than I did to enter this world.”

Fernando Bermudez, at age 21, was wrongly convicted of killing a teenager outside of a night club in New York City. Bermudez became a suspect based on an eyewitness who picked him out in a police photo lineup. In 1993 despite four alibi witnesses and no forensic evidence linking him to the crime, he was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 23 years to life in prison. The following year the witnesses recanted their testimony of seeing Bermudez commit the crime but it was not until 1999 that a judge overturned his conviction. He spent 18 years in prison yet still managed to start a family and have three children. Now a massive advocate for reform, Fernando has shared his experience and message with audiences around the world.

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

“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 Marvin Anderson

On July 17, 1982, a young woman was raped by a black man whom she said was a total stranger. At trial, the victim testified in detail regarding the assault and identified Anderson as her assailant. In 2001 DNA results excluded Anderson as the perpetrator and he was granted a full pardon.

On July 17, 1982, a young woman was raped by a black man whom she said was a total stranger. After she reported the crime, a police officer singled out Anderson as a suspect because the perpetrator had told the victim that he “had a white girl,” and Anderson was the only black man the officer knew who lived with a white woman. Because Anderson had no criminal record, the officer went to Anderson’s employer and obtained a color employment photo identification card. The victim was shown the color identification card, along with six black-and-white mug shots, and identified Anderson as her assailant. Within an hour of the photo spread, she was asked to identify the man who had attacked her from a lineup. Anderson was the only person in the lineup whose picture was in the original photo array shown to the victim and the victim identified him in the lineup as well. At trial, the victim testified in detail regarding the assault and identified Anderson as the man who attachked her. An all white jury convicted Anderson on all counts and he was sentenced to two hundred and 10 years in prison. In 2001, after requests for DNA testing were denied, the Innocence Project, in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, finally won access to DNA testing. The results excluded Anderson as the person who committed the crime, and when it was run through Virginia’s convicted offender DNA database, it matched two people who were incarcerated. On August 21, 2002, Virginia Gov. Mark Warner granted Anderson a full pardon. Following his release, Anderson served as chief of the Hanover, Virginia Fire Department, where he oversaw a team of 30 people. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Innocence Project and has three children—two sons and a daughter.

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