By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY OK – Oklahoma Innocence Project will host the “Full Circle” fundraiser to celebrate Wrongful Conviction Day on Wednesday, October 2. The event will take place from 7 – 9 p.m., at the Oklahoma City University School of Law McLaughlin Hall, 800 N. Harvey.
The program will focus on families, advocates, resources and exonerees. The public is invited to attend.
Founded in 1992 by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck at Cardozo School of Law in New York City, the Innocence Project works to exonerate the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and to reform the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.
In a press release, organizers of the event invite guests to participate in an “exciting evening celebrating Wrongful Conviction Day which casts awareness on the struggles that individuals who are wrongfully convicted go through along with their families.”
The event will feature Maggie Carlo, morning anchor for KOCO 5 News weekday mornings, as Mistress of Ceremonies.
Also speaking that evening will be Elizabeth Fritz Clinton who will accompany her father Dennis Fritz. Both were featured in John Grisham’s Netflix docuseries: The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town.
Fritz, along with co-defendant Ron Williamson (Feb. 3, 1953 – Dec., 4, 2004) were wrongfully convicted of murder and were incarcerated, respectively, for eleven years. Both men were both exonerated by DNA and released in April 1999. Williamson had, at one point, come within five days of execution.
Also speaking at the event will be Christy Sheppard, who has been an advocate for victims of crime and criminal justice reform for many years. Over the last fifteen years, Christy has participated in documentaries and spoken all over the country in an effort to bring awareness and effect change.
The Oklahoma Innocence Project (OKIP) at OCU’s School of Law is dedicated to identifying and remedying cases of wrongful convictions in Oklahoma.
The OK Innocence Project website states, “The main causes of wrongful conviction are eyewitness misidentification, unvalidated and improper forensic science, false confessions, informants, government misconduct and inadequate defense.”
The work of the Project at OCU is sustained entirely by private donations with all of its legal services offered at no charge to the client. From initial investigation to litigation, costs in support of its clients include hiring experts and private investigators, court documents, copies, and travel expenses to speak with witnesses.
To purchase tickets to the Full Circle Fundraiser, click here. To learn more about the Oklahoma Innocence Project or to make a donation online, visit okinnocence.com, call 405-208-6161 or email [email protected]