Who We Are
Exonorees at the 2014 Innocence Network Conference
The New England Innocence Project (NEIP) was founded in 2000 with the goal of identifying and exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals throughout New England. We are the only independent organization in New England doing innocence work: with a prison population of roughly 32,000 on any given day, we certainly have our work cut out for us. 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. We are a small staff of attorneys, paralegals, and development and communications professionals who work along with a dedicated network of criminal defense attorneys, experts, scholars and exonorees to free the wrongfully convicted and reform the criminal justice system. Throughout New England, over 70 individuals have been exonerated.
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 Procter. Joe began to think about an organized response to wrongful convictions in 1997 after Peter Neufeld, one of the founders of the Innocence Project based in New York, spoke at the annual dinner of the Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL). Joe was at that dinner. 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..."
Attorney Michel D. Ricciuti watches an expert examine evidence in preparation for a post-conviction hearing