Tuesday, 23 August 2016

International Groups are promoting Wrongful Conviction Day Around the World October 2, 2016

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Justice  for the Wrongly Convicted
(Formerly the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, AIDWYC)
Third Annual Wrongful Conviction Day
OCTOBER 2, 2016
International Groups are promoting
Wrongful Conviction Day Around the World
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” 
                                                             -Martin Luther King Jr.                                                                                  

Innocence Canada (AIDWYC), has helped in the exoneration of 21 Canadians since its inception in 1993.  These innocent individuals combined have spent in excess of 190 years in prison. However, there are far too many more Canadians who have been wrongly convicted who remain incarcerated.
Innocence Canada has approximately 90 cases that are currently under review.  It has been estimated that Innocence Canada volunteer case reviewers contribute approximately $3, 500,000 in pro bono work to the review of these cases
In the United States alone there were 149 recorded exonerations in 2015 representing 29 states, the District of Columbia, federal courts and Guam. The 149 exonerees served on average over 14 years in prison prior to their release.  Since 1989 there have been 1,733 recorded exonerations in the United States. On an average there are nearly 3 exonerations a week.

Wrongful Conviction Day was launched internationally on October 2, 2014. 
During its inaugural year organizations, schools, businesses and individuals representing eight countries were involved in raising awareness concerning wrongful
convictions.  In 2014 the city of Toronto proclaimed October 2, as Wrongful Conviction
Day.  In 2015, 24 cities across Canada and the State of Michigan signed proclamations declaring October 2nd as Wrongful Conviction Day and 15 countries were represented.    This year we are expanding our efforts worldwide.  A number of cities across Canada will be illuminating landmark buildings, stadiums or bridges in their cities to acknowledge and honour the wrongly convicted.
What: This campaign is to encourage organizations and the public at large which includes faith communities, representatives of all levels of government and educational institutes to set aside one-day to focus on and discuss the causes and remedies concerning  wrongful convictions, which is an issue that effects and devastates individuals and societies worldwide.
How:   Awareness can be raised in any number of ways, including through media releases, book signings, magazine articles, opinion pieces for daily newspapers, interviews (phone-in talk shows both radio and TV, radio and TV talk shows), educational forums, exoneree presentations, faith community services, vigils, film festivals, You Tube Videos, making a movie, and involvement in commemoration services, social media outlets e.g. Blogs, Facebook, Websites, Twitter, Instagram (the sky’s the limit).
Why:   The conviction of innocent people is a local, national and international human rights issue. Wrongful convictions are serious miscarriages of justice that call into question the legitimacy and integrity of our criminal justice systems.
            We believe that frank and open discussions about the causes of wrongful convictions will lead              to positive change in our criminal justice systems and help reduce future wrongful                                convictions.                        
            Who:   Innocence Groups headquartered around the world are committed toidentifying,                       advocating for, and helping in the exoneration of individuals who have been convicted of a                 serious crime, which they did not commit, and to preventing future wrongful convictions                     through awareness, education and justice system reform.
“Innocence Canada is once again honoured to join with human rights advocates, other innocence groups, and fair minded individuals around the world to recognize the third annual Wrongful Conviction Day. In a world of conflict and turmoil it is increasingly important to address miscarriages of justice and protect the rights of innocent individuals everywhere.”
                                        – Ron Dalton, Exoneree/Innocence Canada Co-President
For more information and interview requests for exonerees and Innocence Canada representatives Co-Presidents Ron Dalton and Russell Silverstein please contact:
Win Wahrer
Innocence Canada
Toll free: 1-800-249-1329 x 227
In Toronto: 416-504-7500 x 227
Cell: 416-459-2065
Learn More about Innocence Canada :
·      Address: 111 Peter Street, Suite 408, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1
·      Website: www.innocencecanada.com
·      Facebook: www.facebook.com/innocencecanada
·      Twitter: @innocencecanada
·      Instagram: @innocencecanada

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