• Innocence Matters Innocence Matters


  • Interest area icon
  • Interest area icon
  • Interest area icon
  • Interest area icon
  • Interest area icon

Volunteer with us!

Subscribe Get an RSS feed of these Opportunities
Please wait . . .

Mission Statement

Our job is to keep the innocent out of prison. If mistakes are made, they need to be corrected quickly.

Justice can only be served by a genuine search for the truth, and wrongful convictions only occur when there is a failure to discover, follow and honor the truth. Innocence Matters protects the innocent and prevents wrongful convictions by identifying and rectifying systemic practices that impede our search for truth. Because the disenfranchised are particularly vulnerable to systemic indifference, our work is focused on developing education, prevention and reform measures that will protect those most at risk and that will encourage the legal community to more quickly acknowledge and correct errors.


Innocence Matters provides direct representation for indigent people with compelling claims of innocence in Los Angeles County, who could not get the attention of the existing innocence groups. We have had two exonerations--John Edward Smith and Susan Suzy Mellen, and we are on the verge o securing our third.

Each of those clients, and all those waiting for our assistance, have this in common: a number of lawyers and investigators spanning over a decade vailed to conduct a logical investigation into their clients' claim of innocence.

Innocence Matters is always looking for innovative ways to "raise the bar" for indigent defense, prevent wrongful convictions, educate the public, and encourage criminal justice reform.

This year, we are using the insights from our client's cases to develop an online course that will teach future and current lawyers and investigators how to properly investigate claims of innocence.



Report this organization


Average Review 2 reviews

Would you recommend Innocence Matters?

by Stephanie C. (2012-05-07 16:22:34.0)
I've been interning at Innocence Matters since February, and I've learned and grown so much already through this experience. First, it opened my eyes to the obscure but prevalent issue of wrongful conviction. I'm really proud of and excited about all that this org has done for its client, John Smith, who was imprisoned for 19 years since age 18 for a murder he did not commit. Talking with John and realizing the impact we were making was a very humbling and moving experience. Secondly, I've gained leadership and organizational skills as well as increased awareness on prosecutorial misconduct and other dire flaws of our criminal justice system. I encourage anyone who is pre-law or desiring to help the disadvantaged and change the world to join the team!
by Jessica F. (2010-09-17 06:48:29.0)
I only planned to volunteer at Innocence Matters for the summer but I enjoyed it so much that I'm continuing on. IM is well-organized and Deirdre, the Executive Director, makes sure you never lack work, guidance, feedback or coffee. :) It is EXTREMELY rewarding to volunteer for this organization. You'll never lack motivation, I tell you that much. All you have to do is picture the pure joy and thankfulness on the face of someone whose innocence you've protected.