When the punishment of death is inflicted in a trivial number of the cases in which it is legally available, the conclusion is virtually inescapable that it is being inflicted arbitrarily. Indeed, it smacks of little more than a lottery system.

– The late Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan

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Harold Wilson

WTI exoneree member Harold Wilson in front of the U.S. Supreme Court

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The punishment of murder by death is contrary to reason, and to the order and happiness of society. It lessens the horror of taking away human life, and thereby tends to multiply murders.

– Dr. Benjamin Rush, Founding Father, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and one of our country's earliest supporters of abolition

I have known many presidents, governors, judges, legislators, and policy makers – including myself – and have never known a person wise enough to decide who should live and who should die.

– Frank B. Morrison, Sr., former Nebraska governor

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About Us

Witness to Innocence is the nation’s only organization dedicated to empowering exonerated death row survivors to be the most powerful and effective voice in the struggle to end the death penalty in the United States. Through public speaking, testifying in state legislatures, media work, and active participation in our nation’s cultural life, our members are helping to end the death penalty by educating the public about innocence and wrongful convictions. WTI also provides an essential network of peer support for the exonerated, most of whom received no compensation or access to reentry services when released from death row.

Witness to Innocence initially began its program operations in 2003 under the fiscal sponsorship of the Moratorium Campaign Education Fund, a project of Sister Helen Prejean, renowned anti-death penalty activist, author, and Nobel Prize nominee. We launched our first visible national organizing campaign in September 2005, when 25 exonerated death row survivors, family members, and allies came together near Atlanta, Georgia, for a three-day gathering of the exonerated community. Since our official launching in 2005, our members have played an essential and unique role in the anti-death penalty movement by sharing their stories with millions of people around the country and around the world.

To read just a few of the testimonials to the extraordinary work of our exonerated death row survivor members, click here.


Video by Brian Bullock of Bundy Films, LLC. The video won a Best Acting/Narration award at the 2011 Clifton Film Festival in VA.

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WTI Form 990

WTI Bylaws

WTI FY 2011 Financial Statement (coming soon)

What We Are Not

While we are a proud member of the Innocence Network, we are not an Innocence Project. Witness to Innocence is a membership-based organization of exonerated death row survivors and their loved ones, and does not provide services to those who are currently incarcerated. Please consult your local Innocence Project if you need assistance for yourself or an incarcerated loved one. A complete list can be found here.

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