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Senator Stewart Greenleaf’s Statement on Receiving Hero of Justice Award from PA Innocence Project

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Senator Stewart Greenleaf’s Statement on Receiving Hero of Justice Award from PA Innocence Project

On Wednesday, May 9th, I was presented the Hero of Justice Award from the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.  They are a critical organization that fights for the rights and the freedom of the wrongly accused.  For many years, they have been my partner in fighting for the expansion of post-conviction DNA testing and extending deadlines to apply for post-conviction relief when new evidence has been discovered.

Since opening their doors nine years ago, they have proven the innocence of seven wrongly convicted Pennsylvanians.  In total, 68 people have been exonerated in Pennsylvania—13 of them from post-conviction DNA testing.

Currently, we are fighting for the passage of my SB 915, which would extend the deadline to apply for post-conviction relief when new evidence emerges from 60 days to one year.  The Senate passed this bill on April 17th, and we are working to see it through the House of Representatives.

The reality of innocent people in our prisons has finally penetrated the national consciousness, and I feel that we are on the verge of many more great legislative accomplishments.

I am deeply honored to receive the Hero of Justice Award, but I want to make clear that the hard working individuals at the Pennsylvania Innocence Project are the real Heroes of Justice.