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The number of exonerated Ohio prisoners is growing thanks to the Ohio Innocence Project.

 

The Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) is a legal organization at the University of Cincinnati College of Law committed to exonerating wrongfully convicted persons incarcerated in the Buckeye State.

Harnessing the energy and intellect of law students focused on exoneration as it is driving force, OIP seeks to identify inmates in Ohio prisons who were falsely accused and found guilty of the felonies such as robbery, rape, or murder.

 

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Innocence is often determined by DNA or other forensic evidence. Still, it can include several types of new evidence such as unheard eyewitnesses, confessions, recent expert testimony, unseen physical evidence, inept prosecutors, or proof of police misconduct.

Since 2003, more than 30 men and women convicted of felonies based and sentenced to decades in prison, life in prison and even the death penalty in Ohio have had their wrongful convictions overturned.

 

 

Felon-friendly companies in Cincinnati.

 

 

According to The National Innocence Project, 375 people, including 21 people sentenced to death and served time on death row, have been exonerated through post-conviction DNA testing since 1989. The demographics of exonerated Ohio prisoners are not published, however, nationally, more than 60% of people exonerated are of color (African American, Latino or Asian), while the remainder is white.

 

 

Since 1993, the Innocence Project has received over 65,600 letters from incarcerated individuals seeking help in proving their innocence. The intake team processes the letters chronologically, and thoroughly reviews each case request received.

 

Exonerated prisoners in Ohio:

Name Years in Prison  Year Released
1. Gary Reece  25 years 2005
2. Clarence Elkins 7.5 years 2005
3. Chris Bennett 4 years 2006
4. Bruce Paul 14 years 2008
5. Robert McClendon 18 years 2008
6. Joseph Fears 25 years 2009
7. Nancy Smith 15 years 2009
8. Willie Knighten 12 years 2009
9. Raymond Towler 29 years 2010
10. Teddy Moseley 10 years 2010
11. Wally Zimmer 12 years 2011
12. David Ayers 11 years 2011
13. Roger “Dean” Gillispie 20 years 2011
14. Bryant “Rico” Gaines 9 years 2012
15. Glenn Tinney 20 years 2013
16. Doug Prade 15 years 2013
17. Dewey Jones 20 years 2014
18. Rickey Jackson 39 years 2014
19. Wiley Bridgeman 39 years 2014
20. Kwame Ajamu 28 years 2014-2015
21. Derrick Wheatt 18 years 2015
22. Laurese Glover 18 years 2015
23. Eugene Johnson 18 years 2015
24. Jim Parsons 23 years 2016
25. Evin King 23 years 2017
26. Ru-El Sailor 15 years 2018
27. Chris Miller 17 years 2018
28. Charles Jackson 27 years 2018
30. Christopher Smith 12 years 2020
31. Isaiah Andrews 45 years 2020
32. Michael Sutton 14 years 2021
33. Kenny Phillips 14 years 2021

 

Although exact statistics are unknown, the few studies that have been done estimate that between 2.3 percent and 5 percent of death row cases in the United States are wrongfully convicted. For context, if just 1 percent of all prisoners are innocent, more than 20,000 innocent people are imprisoned.

 

 

Cincinnati African American Lawyers accepting new clients

 

 

If you know of an innocent Ohio prisoner who has a wrongful conviction, wrongful imprisonment or failed by the criminal justice system, complete this Ohio Innocence Project Application.

Ohio Innocence Project Application

 

The Rosenthal Institute for Justice was established at the UC College of Law thanks to the generosity of Lois and Richard Rosenthal.

 

 

Related Legal Resources:

Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati 
Cincinnati Bar Association
Cincinnati NAACP
Hamilton County Office of Re-entry
Hamilton County Public Defender
Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati
NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
Ohio Justice & Policy Center
Ohio State Bar Association

 

 

The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize, and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job posting, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 797979.

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