Founded in 2000, the New England Innocence Project (NEIP) fights to correct and prevent wrongful convictions and ensure justice within the criminal legal system for innocent people throughout New England who are imprisoned for a crime they did not commit.
We provide free forensic testing, investigation, experts, and an experienced legal team to exonerate the innocent and bring them home to their loved ones. We also use our expertise about wrongful convictions to provide education and advocate for legislative and judicial reforms to prevent future tragedies.
We are a small staff of attorneys, paralegals, development, and communications professionals who work along with a dedicated network of criminal defense attorneys, experts, scholars, and exonorees to help free the innocent. Originally, NEIP only took cases with testable biological evidence, but has now expanded its reach to non-DNA claims of innocence as well.
NEIP is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit and receives no funding from the “Innocence Project,” a separate organization based in NYC, or from any other innocence organizations.
Why Do We Need Your Support?
Our clients do not have the resources to prove their innocence. The New England Innocence Project provides pro bono services and pays all of the investigation and litigation costs for all of our cases—receiving an average of 250 requests for assistance each year. As an independent organization we must raise funds to continue our valuable work. We cannot free the innocent without help from the public.
There are many people who have contributed to the New England Innocence Project and its work over the years, but perhaps no one more so than Joseph F. Savage, Jr., now a partner at Goodwin. Joe began to think about an organized response to wrongful convictions in 1997 after hearing Peter Neufeld speak at the annual dinner of the Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL). In his words: “We saw a problem that ultimately only lawyers could solve, and knew that we could be part of the solution if we could organize and get resources to support the lawyers and law students who wanted to address the issue. So we gathered people together and let it be known we were available to review wrongful convictions. After that the boxes began arriving…”