WHO WE ARE
Death Row Survivors
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 was founded in 2003 by Sister Helen Prejean, internationally renowned anti-death penalty activist, author, and Nobel Prize nominee, and Ray Krone, the 100th person exonerated from death row in the United States. We began as a project of the New Orleans-based Moratorium Campaign Education Fund.
Two years later WTI moved to Philadelphia, PA and launched our first visible national organizing campaign in September 2005, when 25 exonerated death row survivors, family members, and allies came together for a three-day gathering of the exonerated community. We have since become one of the most powerful and unique anti-death penalty organizations in the United States.
Our exoneree 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. They have educated tens of thousands of Americans through speaking events at colleges, universities, professional associations, academic conferences, law schools, faith communities, K-12 schools, and civic groups. They have testified before state legislatures, met with government officials and world leaders, and reached tens of millions of people worldwide through the media. Witness to Innocence has shifted public opinion on the death penalty, playing an integral role in successful repeal campaigns in states across the country.
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 .