The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice Extends Fundraising Campaign to Aid in Exonerating the Wrongfully Convicted

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Foundation, established by Deskovic after spending 16 years in prison as an innocent man, is crowdfunding through Indiegogo

Deskovic Foundation
Every time a rogue law enforcement officer or forensic scientist gets identified, hundreds, if not thousands, of cases get affected, and several of those are bound to be innocent.

The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Funds will be used to further the Foundation’s mission of exonerating the wrongfully convicted, helping exonerees reintegrate after years of wrongful imprisonment, and educating the public on wrongful convictions. This is done through advocacy, policy reform and sharing best practices on the front lines of law enforcement including police academies, the judiciary, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.

“I was fortunate enough to be exonerated, but there are still more innocent people spending the holidays behind bars than we can even count,” Jeffrey Deskovic, founder of the Deskovic Foundation, said. “Every time a rogue law enforcement officer or forensic scientist gets identified, hundreds, if not thousands, of cases get affected, and several of those are bound to be innocent. Every time junk science gets admitted as evidence – bite marks, tire marks, footprints, bullet-lead analysis, hair comparisons, the testimony of a dog with ‘a good nose’ – there is the chance an innocent man will spend years in prison. Coerced false confessions, misidentification, informant testimony, bad lawyering, prosecutorial misconduct – all of these lead to wrongful conviction and remain largely unaddressed by state and federal legislation in the US.”

The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice was established as a result of Jeffrey Deskovic’s own wrongful conviction at the age of 17. In 1991, Deskovic was convicted of raping and murdering a fellow high school student and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison (People v. Deskovic, 210 A.D.2d 579 2d Dept. 1994, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Second Department). Sixteen years later, in 2006, he was cleared of the crime after DNA evidence identified the actual perpetrator, who, in the meantime, had murdered another woman.

After his release, Deskovic went on to earn a B.S. in Behavioral Science from Mercy College and his M.A. from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In March of 2012, after finally having the personal means to do so, Deskovic acted on the dream he had since his release: establishing an organization to help free the actually innocent who are or have been wrongfully imprisoned, while working to prevent it from happening in the first place. Deskovic launched The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice using $1.5 million of the compensation he received from his own ordeal. Deskovic wanted to take the negative and turn it into something positive as well as establish a legacy that would ultimately outlive him.

The Indiegogo campaign for the Deskovic Foundation will be live until January 29, 2015. All donations to the campaign are directed toward the Foundation’s operating budget and are tax deductible. For more information about the Foundation and to donate to the campaign, visit the Indiegogo campaign page at http://bit.ly/DeskovicIndie.

ABOUT THE JEFFREY DESKOVIC FOUNDATION FOR JUSTICE

The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to working with the actually innocent who are or have been wrongfully imprisoned. The Foundation employs a trained staff of attorneys and seasoned investigators, and links exonerees to a support network to assist with their reentry into society. The Foundation’s mission is exoneration, education through public awareness and policy reform, and exoneree reintegration. Learn more at http://www.deskovic.org.

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Erin Kenny
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