News Release ~ 01/18/2002

NACDL Second Vice President Scheck plays key role: Press conference to celebrate 100th DNA exoneration at San Diego Innocence Project conference

San Diego, CA (January 18, 2002) -- Post-conviction DNA-testing advocates from across the country will hold a press conference today at 5 p.m EST/2 p.m PST to announce the 100th exoneration of a prisoner by DNA testing. The press conference kicks off the annual National Innocence Projects Conference at California Western School of Law.

The press conference will feature NACDL First Vice President Barry Scheck and NACDL Innocence Project Vice-Chair Peter Neufeld, co-founders of theinnocence project movement. Also featured will be Marvin Anderson and Larry Mayes, the 99th and 100th persons exonerated by DNA.

"The work of innocence projects has been instrumental in bringing the flaws in our system to the attention of the public," said Lawrence Goldman, president-elect of NACDL, who like Scheck and Neufeld practices law in New York City. "Without the work of Barry and Peter, this movement wouldn''t be where it is today.

"Prior to the stream of exonerations brought about by these lawyers and journalists, as well as law and journalism students, it was harder to convince the public that eyewitness testimony is not always reliable, that defendants do not always have qualified counsel, and that police and prosecutors are sometimes more interested in conviction rates than justice," said Goldman. 

Further information is available at www.californiawestern.edu/news/100pressrelease.htm.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's approximately 10,000 direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.

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