International Wrongful Conviction Day began as an effort of the Innocence Network in the US, an affiliation of organisations dedicated to providing pro-bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted, working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions, and supporting the exonerated after they are freed. This is the eighth annual day.
Coincidentally, it is a little over eight years since our first articles on Australian wrongful convictions began to appear – launched and propelled by the case of Sue Neill-Fraser in Tasmania – first (since August 15, 2013), in the Democracy & Justice section of our sister blog, pursuedemocracy.com and since February 26, 2018, here in the blog dedicated entirely to wrongful convictions. The catalyst for our interest was the 2013 Eve Ash documentary, Shadow of Doubt. On the film’s release, Neill-Fraser had been incarcerated for almost four years. We have published over 160 articles on the Neill-Fraser case; the judges in her second appeal are yet to deliver their decision.
Readers who browse through the cases listed on the right hand side of our pages will discover heart wrenching stories of justice gone wrong, gone rogue, gone off the rails – sometimes it seems on purpose.
What International Wrongful Conviction Day provides is an attention point, just one day on which every fair-minded person can make an undertaking to themselves to keep an open mind when reading or watching media reports about those accused of serious crimes. We all want justice for ourselves and our loved ones. We should want no less for our fellow citizens.
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. ” – Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790), writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher and political philosopher.
Tomorrow, coinciding with its publication on Canada’s The Charles Smith Blog (by Harold Levy), we will publish The Disturbing Case of Derek Bromley, by Dr Bob Moles, to help mark International Wrongful Conviction Day.