10th Anniversary Celebration
Witness to Innocence 10th Anniversary Celebration
Witness to Innocence celebrated ten years of empowering exonerated death row survivors and ending the the death penalty with two back-to-back, spectacular events on October 8, 2013. The first event included an intimate cocktail reception featuring Sister Helen Prejean and actor Danny Glover at the Law Office of Blank Rome. Catering to a sold out crowd, guests enjoyed artisan wine, delicious food, and lively conversation.
The second event – 10th Anniversary Awards Ceremony – featured the most outspoken death penalty abolitionist – Sister Helen Prejean as keynote speaker, and it honored some of the biggest names in criminal justice reform and death penalty abolition including actor and activist Danny Glover, US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Maddie deLone, executive director of the Innocence Project, and so many more (check out our honorees page to see). More so, it paid tribute to the outstanding courage of our own members including co-founder Ray Krone (100th exoneree) and Dave Keaton, first American death row exoneree. The atmosphere exuded inspiration, and it confirmed the incredible power of our death row exonerees.
To check out the photos, go to our gallery page.
Featuring Keynote Speaker:
Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., born in Baton Rouge, LA on April 21, 1939, is a Roman Catholic religious sister, a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph of Medaille, and an internationally acclaimed human rights activist, author, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Sister Helen is one of the world’s most visible and effective opponents of the death penalty. Her 1993 best-selling book, Dead Man Walking, was turned into a Hollywood movie in 1995 and educated tens of millions of people about the death row experience. She continues to write, lecture, and organize to end the death penalty and other human rights abuses. Sister Helen founded Witness to Innocence in 2003 and has been a faithful friend of the organization over the last decade.
Featuring special guest honoree:
Actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover has been a commanding presence on screen, stage and television for more than 25 years. As an actor, his film credits range from the blockbuster Lethal Weapon franchise to smaller independent features, some of which Glover also produced. In recent years he has starred in an array of motion pictures including the critically-acclaimed Dreamgirls directed by Bill Condon and in the futuristic 2012 for director Roland Emmerich.
Glover has gained respect for his wide-reaching community activism and philanthropic efforts, with a particular emphasis on advocacy for economic justice and access to health care and education programs in the United States and Africa. Internationally Glover has served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program from 1998-2004, focusing on issues of poverty, disease and economic development in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Glover was presented in 2011 with the prestigious Medaille des Arts et des Letters from the French Ministry of Culture and was honored with a Tribute at the Deauville International Film Festival. Currently Glover serves as UNICEF Ambassador.
A Special Recognition for Ray Krone, Co-Founder
As co-founder of Witness to Innocence, Ray Krone's leadership over the last ten years has enabled the organization to thrive into one of the powerful anti-death penalty organizations in the United States. Bringing together a group of exonerated death row survivors has been no easy task, but Ray has not only brought together these group of extraordinary men and women, but been instrumental in bringing their stories of innocence center stage in the debate over the death penalty. To this day Ray remains committed to ending the death penalty and challenging gross injustice as Director of Membership and Training and an avid speaker. We'll pay special homage to Ray Krone for his leadership at the 10th Anniversary Celebration.