Since our electricity is temporarily out (due to City construction), seemed like a good time to say a belated “thank you” to our partner, Temple University Beasley School of Law. Like a few other innocence organizations, the Pennsylvania Innocence Project is an independent non-profit organization providing free legal assistance to those convicted of crimes they did not commit. Most organizations that do what we do are directly affiliated with a law school, with the directors and staff attorneys serving as faculty, and having the benefit of resources directly from the law school.
We have, perhaps, the best of both worlds. While we are an independent non-profit – which means we have to raise the money to keep ourselves in business – we have the terrific privilege of having the support of Temple University Beasley School of Law. We are lucky to have participation from all of the law schools around Philadelphia – Drexel University School of Law, Villanova University School of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Widener University School of Law – but it is no exaggeration to say that without Temple’s early leadership and continued support, there would be no Project.
Back in 2009, when our founding members were searching for office space, it was Temple Law Dean JoAnne Epps who answered the call. Since then, Temple students have volunteered in our office, on our cases, served as clinical interns, and helped raise awareness about how our society continues to wrongly convict innocent people. Temple faculty have served as resources and mentors, volunteered on cases, and helped educate our students. Student groups have hosted educational lectures and panels. And, of course, for the past five years we have had a roof over our heads as well as computers, phones, and electricity to do the work that needs to get done. All because of Temple.
So, as we sit in the dark waiting out the generators, a belated but wholly sincere “thank you” to Dean JoAnne Epps and all of the people at Temple University Beasley School of Law.