By: Matilda Hurst (Note: CIP encourages summer interns to research and write about criminal justice issues during their time here. These are the opinions of the interns, and not necessarily that of the California Innocence Project.)
Would you walk 100 miles for a cause? Justin Brooks, is doing it in an attempt to right the wrongs of injustice and to obtain freedom for the wrongly convicted.
Justin Brooks is the Director of the California Innocence Project (CIP) and will set out on the Innocence March on September 30, 2018 to walk 100 miles to the steps of the California State Capitol to encourage Governor Jerry Brown to grant clemency to 7 of the remaining California 12 (12 innocent people sent to prison for crimes they did not commit). This is not the first trek Justin has undertaken. Five years ago he walked 712 miles from San Diego to Sacramento to raise awareness about wrongful convictions and hand deliver clemency petitions to Governor Brown.
Governor Brown has not granted clemency to any of the California 12. However, Justin and his team have through their tenacity and brilliant legal skills freed 5 of the 12 through litigation. This amazing group of people at CIP, led by Justin, will not rest on their laurels while there are still 7 of the 12 in prison. Can you imagine being in prison for a crime you did not commit? Put yourself in these people’s prison-issued shoes and imagine the nightmare they and their families are living. Thanks to the efforts of CIP these people and their families have not been overlooked or forgotten, the fight goes on. The Innocence March is not just for the California 12 – it is for all those wrongly convicted. It will bring awareness to the realities surrounding wrongful convictions and bring to light that these cases do happen all too often and not just in California but throughout the whole country.
Be a part of history and join Justin on the steps of the State Capitol at noon on October 7, 2018 for a rally that will demonstrate to Governor Brown that the time is now to right the wrongs and free the remaining California 12. If you can’t be there in person show your support through twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook.
You can find out more about the Innocence March and walking the final mile with Justin at: http://innocencemarch.com/