The Arizona Justice Project:
We seek justice for the innocent and the wrongfully imprisoned – the marginalized and forgotten of Arizona’s Criminal Justice System.
The Arizona Justice Project was established in 1998 and became the fifth organization in the United States created to help inmates overturn wrongful convictions. Today, there are more than 60 similar organizations worldwide.
Indigence is frequently associated with injustice and the quality of justice suffers as a result. To prevent denial of access to justice, members from the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice founded the Justice Project in 1998. Its mission is to represent indigent Arizona inmates whose claims of innocence or manifest injustice have gone unheeded. Every time an accused goes to prison without having received a fair trial, we are one-step closer to the loss of our own freedoms. In fact, there is no greater punishment than that imposed on the innocent.
The Justice Project reviews and assists in cases of actual innocence or cases in which a manifest injustice has occurred. To date, the Justice Project has received over 5,000 requests for help, and currently has anywhere between 40 to 50 cases in post-conviction relief proceedings or under the supervision of a review team. Oftentimes, the Justice Project is a last resort for men and women who have been failed by our justice system. Their voices would go unheard and sadly, many innocent people would remain wrongfully behind bars without the hard work of our Justice Project staff and volunteers.
Our review teams generally consist of a Justice Project staff person or a volunteer lawyer supervisor paired with law students from the Arizona State University College of Law, Arizona Summit Law School, and the University of Arizona College of Law. In addition, the Justice Project is fortunate to have the help of some of the best investigators in Arizona, who spend countless hours tracking down vital information, witnesses and evidence in our cases.
In an ongoing effort to both correct past injustices and prevent future wrongful convictions, the Justice Project distributes a newsletter to help educate the public on the misconceptions surrounding wrongful convictions. It also keeps our supporters updated on our various cases under review, CLE events, legislative projects, groundbreaking forensic science and much more. Please subscribe to our newsletter by entering your email address at the top of this page.
Here are some more interesting facts about the Justice Project:
- The Justice Project enjoys a collaborative relationship with Arizona’s three law schools. The Justice Project receives the benefit of a close relationship with the law schools’ nationally recognized experts in forensic science and DNA. The Justice Project works hand-in-hand with the Post-Conviction Clinic at ASU and the Wrongful Conviction Clinic at UofA. The Justice Project continues its close relationship with the Arizona Summit Law School through their externship program.
- From 2008 to October 2013, the Justice Project partnered with the Attorney General’s Office and the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, to undergo post-conviction DNA testing in cases of forcible rape, murder, and non-negligent homicide cases where the testing might demonstrate actual innocence.
- In January 2015, the Justice Project began implementing a second grant from the National Institute of Justice to review DNA cases. This program is a joint effort between the Justice Project, ASU College of Law, and UofA College of Law.
- Most of the Justice Project’s cases do not involve DNA, or the DNA would not provide convincing evidence of guilt or innocence.
The Justice Project is a not for profit, charitable organization formed under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Donations to The Justice Project are tax-deductible as charitable contributions for US federal income tax purposes. There are no donation limits or restrictions on contributions to the Justice Project.