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Innocence Project: Stories of wrongful conviction in the United States

Larry King NowNov 25 '16

Innocence Project co-founder Peter Neufeld and board member Jason Flom talk to Shawn King about the state of wrongful conviction in the United States, how and why it happens and their work on exonerating hundreds of people convicted of crimes they didn’t commit.Later, Shawn and Jason are joined by NY Daily News Sr. Justice Writer Shaun King to talk about the personal stories of exonerees they’ve met and Flom’s compelling new podcast, “Wrongful Conviction.” 

Shawn King takes over the desk at “Larry King Now” to speak with founding members of the Innocence Project, Peter Neufeld and Jason Flom. The two have been affiliated with Innocence Project since its inception in 1992, and music executive Jason Flom has taken his outreach a step further with the creation of his podcast “Wrongful Conviction.” Neufeld addresses the project’s main objectives with Shawn, which includes freeing the innocent, finding causes for wrongful conviction, and seeking opportunities for systemic reform to curb further injustices.

Attorney Peter Neufeld then lists the many reasons that lead to wrongful convictions in any particular case. False confessions instigated by police pressure, faulty witnesses, and bad jailhouse informants can all lead to innocent men and women landing behind bars. He also gives insight into what makes the Innocent Project so successful; they are not a defense organization, but rather one dedicated to finding the truth. The Innocence Project relies on DNA to give insight where there is often human error.

Later, Shawn King and Jason Flom are joined at the table with another Shaun King, this one the Senior Justice Writer for the “New York Daily News.” He and Flom highlight many of the social causes that can lead to certain strata of society being disproportionately affected by wrongful conviction rates. King addresses the role that wealth and class play in wrongful conviction rates, and how much difference a good legal team can make in someone’s court proceedings. Jason Flom also speaks to his podcast, and his hope that it makes every potential juror more skeptical, more aware of human error, and more aware of the judicial process as a whole. The two leave off on a hopeful note, reflecting on the resilience and optimism of the exonerees that they have met with.