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Seeking Truth. Providing Hope. Freeing the Innocent.
From the Legal Director's Desk 

 From one part of the Commonwealth to another, it has been an exciting few months. In Indiana County, Lewis "Jim" Fogle breathed the fresh air of freedom after 34 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Just a few weeks later, in Fayette County, Crystal Weimer was released from 11 years in state prison and is now home with her family. And back in Philadelphia, our office gained another lawyer for the first time in 4 years. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our partners from Jones Day law firm who donated hundreds of hours of their time to help Crystal earn her freedom - Jeff Bresch and Kaitlyn Matscherz.

And we hope you'll join us on Wednesday October 21 at 5:00 pm when we join Temple University Beasley School of Law in welcoming Bryan Stevenson to town. The author of the memoir Just Mercy, Mr. Stevenson has earned world-wide admiration and acclaim for his work on behalf of death row inmates, children, and the mentally ill. You can get your free ticket by clicking on the image below. This will truly be a memorable evening.

Warmest wishes,

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Lewis James Fogle Walks Free - 34 Years After His Wrongful Conviction!

On August 13, 2015, Lewis James "Jim" Fogle walked out of prison after serving more than 34 years for a murder he did not commit. Newly available DNA testing excluded Jim and points to another, unidentified male as the person who murdered a 15 year-old girl in 1984.
PaIP Legal Director Marissa Bluestine, Jim Fogle, and IP Managing Attorney David Loftis

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Crystal Weimer Released After 11 Years Wrongful Incarceration

On October 2, 2015, the Pa. Innocence Project, with volunteer lawyers Jeff Bresch and Katie Matscherz of Jones Day, won a new trial for Crystal Weimer who spent almost 11 years incarcerated as an innocent woman. Ms. Weimer was wrongly convicted of participating in the 2001 murder of a Connellsville, Pennsylvania man. The conviction was based, in large part, on bite mark evidence and the testimony of an expert forensic dentist.  The same expert from trial told Judge Wagner at the post-conviction hearing his previous methods of matching bite marks to suspects was "junk science" and that he would not give the same testimony today. With that, the court granted Crystal's petition and ordered her released on unsecured bond. Crystal was home with her family within days.  Read more ....
Nilam, Crystal, and Federal Defender Elisa Long
Crystal with volunteer lawyer Jeff Bresch
Crystal with her team

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We've Expanded Our Legal Staff

With our caseload continuing to expand, the Project's Board of Directors approved the addition of another staff attorney to our legal team.  T.C.
Tanski joined the Project in August, increasing the Project's legal staff to three full-time lawyers. With T.C. coming on board as staff attorney, Nilam Sanghvi, who has been with the Project since 2013, was made senior staff attorney.
T.C. graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2009 and received his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2012. Following graduation, T.C. worked as the appellate and post-conviction attorney for a private criminal defense firm in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Board President David Richman and James Hugney 

While with the firm, T.C. drafted the Petition for Post-Conviction Relief that freed James Hugney after 36 years of wrongful incarceration. The Project served as consulting counsel and worked closely with T.C. on the case

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Han Tak Lee's 25 - Year Ordeal May Finally Be Over!

Last year, in a case in which the Project had filed an amicus brief cited by the
Board President David Richman, Peter Goldberger and Han Tak Le
Third Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal District Court granted Han Tak Lee's petition for a new trial and released him from prison after 24 years. Represented by Peter Goldberger, a member of the Project's Advisory Board, Mr. Lee was able to show that his conviction for the arson murder of his daughter was based on discredited fire science. Indeed, Mr. Lee's expert witness testified that the evidence showed that the fire had not been intentionally set.  Read more ...

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Mission of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project

The Pennsylvania Innocence Project works to exonerate those convicted of crimes they did not commit and to prevent innocent people from being convicted. 

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                    Richard Glazer                                                  Marissa Bluestine 
                 Executive Director                                                  Legal Director 
      Pennsylvania Innocence Project                         Pennsylvania Innocence Project 

Pennsylvania Innocence Project | 1515 Market Street | Philadelphia | PA | 19102