The California Innocence Project (CIP) is celebrating its 20th year of freeing the innocent! CIP was established at California Western School of Law (CWSL) in 1999 by CIP Director Justin Brooks and Co-Founder Jan Stiglitz. Shortly thereafter, they hired their first employee, Program Manager Kim Hernandez.

Jan and Kim have since retired, yet 20 years later under Justin’s leadership, the Project has grown to include six staff attorneys, two staff fellows, one investigator, and a development team of two. Many of the Project’s attorneys started their CIP journey as CWSL students who participated in the Project’s clinical internship program. Now, those same attorneys supervise clinical interns whose seats they once filled. Overall, more than 200 students have passed through the rigorous program, gaining skills and experiences not offered by many other internships, all the while battling wrongful convictions.

Since CIP began in 1999, the organization has freed 30 innocent men and women who collectively spent more than 411 years wrongfully incarcerated. “I hope I’m out of a job one day,” the CIP team can often be heard saying, emphasizing the dream of one day eradicating wrongful convictions altogether. Until that time, the Project will continue working to free the innocent, as it has for the last 20 years.

Freed Clients Since 1999

CIP has freed more than 30 clients since the organization formed in 1999. Click on the names of our clients below to read their stories.

Roeling Adams, 28 years served
Timothy Atkins, 23 years served
Brian Banks, 6 years served
Stephan Billiard, 23 years served
Reggie Cole, 16 years served
Uriah Courtney, 8 years served
Alan Gimenez, 24 years served
Michael Hanline, 36 years served
Grace Huang, 3 years served
Matthew Huang, 3 years served
Jason Kindle, 4 years served
Daniel Larsen, 13 years served
Vondell Lewis, 27 years served
Kimberly Long, 7 years served
Rafael Madrigal, 9 years served
Kenneth Marsh, 21 years served
Scott McMahon, 5 years served
Guy Miles, 18 years served
Quintin Morris, 27 years served
Jason Puracal, 2 years served
William Richards, 23 years served
Adam Riojas, 13 years served
Jason Rivera, 19 years served
Horace Roberts, 20 years served
John Stoll, 20 years served
Luis Vargas, 16 years served

Celebrate Freedom and 20 Years at XONR8 Gala

Save the date for CIP’s annual fundraising event, the XONR8 Gala! The Gala will take place on October 2, 2019 at the Headquarters in Downtown San Diego. Join us as we celebrate our freed clients and the contributions made by our generous donors and volunteers throughout the year. Early-bird registration opens Monday, August 19. Learn more at