The Pershing Square Foundation in New York City has announced a $1 million grant to the Innocence Project, a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent further injustice.
The grant, the largest in the organization's history, will support the organization's efforts as it works to have a wider systemic impact on criminal justice policy at the federal and state levels. Among other things, grant funds will be used to educate, train, and form partnerships with law enforcement to eradicate wrongful convictions. "Wrongful convictions are shameful to our country and to my own sense of justice," said Bill Ackman founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management. "Using DNA testing to overturn wrongful convictions, the Innocence Project has helped to identify fundamental flaws in the criminal justice system."
The grant also will support non-lobbying advocacy efforts that seek to improve how law enforcement conducts line-ups, modify the eyewitness identification process, and help facilitate better access to DNA testing.
"As the Innocence Project shifts its focus to create more lasting change at the federal and state level, we are deeply honored to receive such critical support from the Pershing Square Foundation," said the organization's executive director, Madeline deLone. "The grant will enable us to make important strides reforming the criminal system to prevent future injustice."