I hope you're all having a nice Easter weekend, and even if you don't celebrate it, I hope you've had the chance to relax and spend some time with the people you love.
I'm here today to announce the secret project I mentioned in my last entry ...
About a month ago, the wonderful Kyra Lennon asked me if I'd be interested in taking part in an anthology where the proceeds go to The Innocence Project. Having become aware of The Innocence Project through the podcast Serial, I jumped at the chance.
Here's a little background on the Innocence Project...
Founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.
The Innocence Project works with prosecutors or courts to agree on private or public labs to conduct testing on evidence connected to a particular crime. In 82% of cases for which records are available, prosecutors eventually agreed to grant testing. In other cases, access to DNA testing was granted through court orders.
The few studies that have been done estimate that between 2.3% and 5% of all prisoners in the U.S. are innocent (for context, if just 1% of all prisoners are innocent, that would mean that more than 20,000 innocent people are in prison).
The Innocence Project works to exonerate the innocent, improve the law, reform the law, and support the exonerated.As Kyra noted in her own post about the anthology, I’m British. Why would I care about injustice in the US? I think her quote from Martin Luther King Jr sums it up perfectly: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
I'm lucky to have never been in trouble with the law, and I can't see that ever changing (touch wood), but what about those who aren't as lucky?
Situations like that in Serial and Making a Murderer, as well as things like the shooting of Michael Brown and other atrocities are happening throughout the world ALL.THE.TIME.
Innocent people are being wrongly imprisoned based on race, religion, social class, gender etc. and often times they can't afford the proper representation to help them clear their name, or the cases are filled with bias. The justice system in the western world is failing.
This is where the Innocence Project steps in, but as a 45% of their funding comes from individuals, they greatly rely on donations. Of course I could just donate to the Innocence Project, and I will be doing so, but I can do more.
I can join Kyra and the seven other authors she's selected to write for The Love In The First Degree anthology; a collection of intense romance short stories, some with an element of crime, with all proceeds from sales going to the Innocence Project.
The release date will be July 8th 2016, and that is just about all the info I have right now - though I will update soon with the blurb for my short-story.
Until then, you can keep up to date with the latest happenings on Facebook page and/or Twitter!