The New England Innocence Project (NEIP) was founded in 2000 with the goal of identifying and exonerating wrongly convicted individuals through the use of DNA evidence. In 2009, the mission was expanded; NEIP now considers cases in which other scientific testing or investigative leads could establish a strong likelihood that an individual is factually innocent.
NEIP is a member of the international Innocence Network of innocence projects. Each of these projects was modeled after the Innocence Project, which was founded by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld at the Cardozo School of Law in New York in 1992.
Many innocence projects around the country – and increasingly the world – are affiliated with law schools. NEIP, however, is an independent 501(c)(3) public charity. Our location in Boston affords us the unique opportunity to work with professors and students from the six Boston law schools, as well as with law schools throughout New England. Additionally, in the summer months, NEIP has a full-time legal internship program which draws students from states outside of New England as well as several foreign countries.
NEIP consists of a small staff of attorneys, paralegals, administrative professionals, and volunteer law students who work in conjunction with a dedicated network of criminal defense attorneys, experts, and scholars. So far, 39 innocent individuals from prisons throughout New England have been exonerated. Many NEIP exonerees are still involved with the organization, furthering the innocence movement using firsthand experience.