Our New Decade


We are very grateful to be a Foundation Beyond Belief beneficiary. Innocence Project of Texas (IPTX) began in 2006 as the wrongful conviction movement was still gathering momentum. In our first decade, we were honored to help a dozen innocent Texas citizens come home from prison after years of incarceration for crimes they did not commit. Now, on our tenth year anniversary, we won’t be stopping to celebrate the past. We won’t be stopping because we are focused on our second decade and the challenges that lie ahead.

In recent years, Texas has averaged over 100,000 felony convictions annually. If just one in every thousand (a 99.9% accuracy rate) are innocent, then 100 innocent people are falsely convicted each year. Compare that with a five-year average of 22 Texas exonerations each year and you can see that it is quite possible (or even very likely) that there is still a sizable and unacceptable ‘liberty gap’. The exonerations that do happen take untold years from the time help is requested to that glorious day when freedom comes. Our challenge in our second decade is simple but significant: to serve more victims of wrongful conviction faster.

To serve more victims of wrongful convictions faster,we must take our work to the next level. That means attracting the resources to build a professional grade operational infrastructure. Much of our work has been driven by pro bono/volunteer energy. To be sure, pro bono/volunteer support has been a cornerstone of our success. Connecting the pro bono/volunteer effort with full-time professional staff (lawyers, investigators, paralegals, nonprofit professionals) will strengthen and accelerate our efforts. Every successful organization has an economic model that fuels its mission. The Innocence movement has proven that people care deeply about justice and fairness and are willing to invest significantly in the innocence project mission. IPTX believes that these individual investors are the key to our long-term sustainability and critical to building the capacity to help more victims faster.

Our next decade will call forth a concentrated and deliberate undertaking to expand and grow our IPTX community. We will explore new ways to interact and build relationships with our supporters. We will generate new investments in our work and dramatically increase our ability to help more victims of wrongful convictions. None of what I describe here captures the joy and jubilation that comes when you watch an innocent person walk from the darkness of despair into the light of freedom. The light of freedom also shines on the work that supports the mission, the work that creates these awe-inspiring moments when a new life begins and when a family is reunited. This is our path forward. This is our work for our new decade.

The Innocence Project of Texas is our current Human Rights beneficiary. To become a Humanist Giving member and to donate to IPTX and our other beneficiaries, please visit our website