The Hawai’i Innocence Project is a law clinic at the William S. Richardson School of Law and anon-profit with a mission to free prisoners who are factually innocent but who have been wrongfully convicted. The project fights for the freedom of those who have been wrongfully convicted and advocates for the prevention of future injustice. The Hawai’i Innocence Project accepts applications from anyone who has been convicted of a crime occurring in Hawai’i and is factually innocent of that crime. They strive to not only exonerate the innocent but to also reform the justice system to prevent innocent people from being convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. Through investigations, legal research, and DNA testing, they seek to right the terrible miscarriage of justice that occurs when an innocent person languishes behind bars for a crime someone else committed.
The project trains law students to be passionate advocates and effective attorneys who will diligently represent their clients. Students are given the opportunity to investigate, research, and draft legal documents. Beyond practical experience, students also learn firsthand the consequences of bad lawyering and junk science. Through outreach, seminars, and presentations, they educate lawmakers, law enforcement, and the community about the causes of wrongful conviction so that we may prevent more innocent people from being falsely accused and wrongfully convicted.