NSW BARRISTER AND SOLICITOR JOIN FORCES TO UNDERTAKE PROBONO WORK WITH THE INNOCENCE PROJECT IN NEW ORLEANS
In Louisiana and Mississippi, the two states with the highest incarceration rates in the world, Innocence Project New Orleans frees innocent prisoners, exposes injustice and prevents wrongful convictions.
Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) is a non-profit law office that represents innocent prisoners serving life sentences in Louisiana and Mississippi, and assists them with their transition into the free world upon their release. IPNO uses its cases to explain how wrongful convictions happen and what we can all do to prevent them. IPNO works with legislators, judges, lawyers, law enforcement and policymakers to protect the innocent within the criminal justice system.
IPNO is a non-profit law office with full time staff attorneys working cases from start to finish, supported by investigators, paralegals and a constellation of volunteer assistance â€“ primarily outside attorneys working pro bono as co-counsel and law students who assist with case review and investigation â€“
at no cost to our clients.
IPNO has a national reputation for winning exonerations; both in cases where DNA can prove innocence, and in more difficult cases where DNA does not exist or has been destroyed. The latter type of cases require hundreds of hours of traditional investigation to gather the evidence needed to exonerate an innocent prisoner.
Bernadette Oâ€™Reilly, Barrister at Sir Owen Dixon Chambers with 26 yearsâ€™ experience in criminal law and Angela Jones, Solicitor, Legal Aid NSW with 15 yearsâ€™ experience in crime/care and family law will volunteer for three months from January 2016 to March 2016 with the Innocence Project in New Orleans.
Both lawyers bring a wealth of experience from their work with Legal Aid, and Aboriginal Legal Service. We are hoping to gain experience and insight into these lengthy, complex wrongful convictions with a view to utilising that knowledge on return to Australia our casework but also in law reform campaigns to ensure that NSW does not continue the slide towards life without parole and other draconian sentences as a norm.
As this is unpaid work for a lengthy period we seek your support. Any donations will be used by Angela and Bernadette to fund their important work all over Louisiana and in some parts of Mississippi.
For more information about the work of the Innocence Project visit their web site at: http://www.ip-no.org