The CPCS Innocence Program led by CPCS Attorney Lisa Kavanaugh was one of several sponsors of the Massachusetts Wrongful Conviction Day held at the Massachusetts State House on October 2, 2017.
Supporters of amending Massachusetts law relative to wrongful convictions and forensic science evidence assembled at the State House to educate members of the House and Senate, their staff, and the public on the causes and remedies of wrongful convictions and the tremendous personal, social, and emotional costs wrongfully convicted, innocent people and their families endure.
The event, which took place on International Wrongful Conviction Day, featured a variety of speakers who appeared at intervals throughout the day and were followed by a brief film made by students of the Harvard Law School Criminal Justice Policy Program and filmmaker and Harvard Law School Lecturer Rebecca Richman Cohen – Racing Horse Productions. The film, which concentrates on the need for forensic justice, highlights the experience and struggle of exoneree Victor Rosario. To view the film visit: https://vimeo.com/218886228.
Presenters included State Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville), State Senator William Brownsberger (D-Belmont) and recent Massachusetts exonerees, Fred Clay and Victor Rosario, clients of Atty. Kavanaugh, who poignantly relayed their own wrongful conviction experiences. Both served more than 30 years each in prison for offenses they did not commit.
“Wrong became right, after I spent more than three decades of waiting for science to catch up,” expressed Victor Rosario, 2017 Massachusetts Exoneree.
Also presenting were family members of exonerees who explained how wrongful convictions disrupted their and their families’ lives. The legal community and forensic science and wrongful conviction experts from sponsoring organizations provided details of what is currently happening with wrongful convictions and in the world of forensic science, and addressed the changes that are needed.
In addition to CPCS and the CPCS Innocence Program, sponsors of the event were the New England Innocence Project, the Boston College Innocence Program, and the Harvard Criminal Justice Policy Program.