Horizon Foundation supports the Tennessee Innocence Project

Horizon Foundation makes a donation to support the Tennessee Innocence Project. Too often, members of the black and brown communities are treated unjustly within our criminal justice system. In some instances this kind of treatment is unintentional because it is an engrained systematic unconscious act were the people prosecuting the cases automatically assumes guilt on the members of the black and brown communities were in the same instances the benefit of the doubt is always given to the non-black or brown parties. Unfortunately, in other instances it is an intentional choice. In either case, the impact to the black and brown communities are irreparable.

Imagine your loved one is charged with a crime they did not commit.

You know this person. You know their character. You know they did not do what they are accused of. The allegations are horrifying and the risk if convicted at trial is high.

But, if they are 100 percent innocent, they will not be convicted, right?

Wrong.

Unfortunately, we know that the criminal justice system is imperfect and does not always get it right. Nationwide, since 1989, more than 3,100 people have been exonerated across the United States. Collectively, those actually innocent men and women who have been exonerated lost more than 27,200 years of their freedom while confined behind prison bars.

That’s where we come in.  

Launched in February 2019, as the first full-time innocence organization in the state, the Tennessee Innocence Project represents men and women making claims of actual innocence. The Tennessee Innocence Project has three primary areas of focus:

1) Investigating and litigating actual innocence claims for those in Tennessee prisons to obtain exonerations,

2) Training law students and attorneys about how to litigate these cases and how to prevent future wrongful convictions, and

3) Effectuating changes that facilitate the discovery of wrongful convictions and remedies to the wrongfully convicted.

Over the past year, the Tennessee Innocence Project has successfully obtained four exonerations for actually innocent clients who were wrongfully convicted of murder. Our work has just begun. In 2021, we received 125 applications from people convicted of crimes in 41 Tennessee counties, and we continue to receive applications at a similar rate. This doesn’t include the countless calls and emails we receive from family members or friends seeking help for their loved ones. We carefully review each application we receive. Because our resources are limited, we must carefully select the most promising cases to handle.

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