At its Annual Luncheon on December 8, 2015, the Philadelphia Bar Association (“PBA”) presented its PNC Achievement Award to David Richman, the President and co-founder of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. The award honors significant accomplishments in improving the administration of justice and distinguished service consistently rendered over a considerable period of time.
David has served as a board member for a number of non-profit public interest law firms and civic organizations, including the Education Law Center-Pa, which he chaired for 15 years, the Defender Association of Philadelphia, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Prison Society.
The PBA also noted David’s appointment as lead counsel for a class of prisoners in Harris v. City of Philadelphia, challenging over-crowded prison conditions in 1982. After 18 years, his work led to the closing of Holmesburg Prison and the opening of new prison facilities.
However, it was David’s role as co-founder, in 2008, and president of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project since its inception that highlighted why he was so deserving of the prestigious award. David later shared the credit for the Project’s success with others: “The award is as much a tribute to the Pennsylvania Innocence Project as it is to me personally, and I am immensely proud to have played a part in bringing together so many talented, great-hearted people dedicated to righting the terrible wrong of wrongful convictions—my fellow board members, our extraordinary staff, and our ever-increasing cadre of supporters.”
In his brief remarks in accepting the award, David specifically cited the leadership of Executive Director Richard Glazer, recipient of the 2012 PNC Achievement Award, and Legal Director Marissa Bluestine, who received the Andrew Hamilton Award from the Public Interest Section of the PBA in 2013.