Kirk Bloodsworth is the Executive Director of Witness to Innocence. An honorably discharged Marine, Kirk was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death in Maryland where he spent almost nine years in prison, two of which were on death row. He is the first person in the US to be exonerated from death row based on DNA testing. Since his exoneration, Kirk has testified before the US Congress as well as numerous state legislatures. He worked in eight of the nine states that have abolished the death penalty in the last 25 years, including his home state of Maryland, where his name was mentioned 64 times during the floor debate in the legislature. He has been featured on Oprah twice as well as on CNN’s Larry King Live. Kirk has been an ardent supporter of the Innocence Protection Act, which established the Kirk Bloodsworth Post-Conviction DNA Testing Program providing $10 million per year in federal grants to help states defray the costs of testing DNA evidence. After teaching himself the art of silversmithing, Kirk created signature “exoneree” and “death row exoneree” 28g sterling silver rings which he has gifted to 235 exonerees to date. Kirk served as a program officer and consultant for The Justice Project in Washington, D.C. and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Innocence Network where he is one of the first exonerees, and is the first death row exoneree, to join the board. Kirk served on the Witness to Innocence staff as the Director of Communications, Deputy Director and Interim Executive Director before assuming the role of Executive Director. At Witness to Innocence, Kirk is focused on highlighting the voices of fellow exonerees. He places their leadership and well-being at the center of his work.
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