Originally published April 25, 2013 at 10:07 a.m., updated April 25, 2013 at 2:43 p.m.
Michael Semanchik, Attorney, California Innocence Project
The Innocence Project at the California Western School of Law has used every legal means possible to reverse wrongful convictions. Now, attorneys are taking to the streets — 600 miles of streets — in a march from San Diego to Sacramento.
The Innocence March will focus on gaining clemency for 12 California prison inmates, known as the "California 12," whose cases supporters say show compelling evidence of innocence.
“There is no rational reason to keep innocent people in prison,” said Professor Justin Brooks, director of the Innocence Project. “In each one of these 12 cases, there is compelling evidence of innocence. The governor has the power to release them and we will ask him to use that power.”
Brooks plans to turn in clemency petitions to Governor Jerry Brown. He said these clients are innocent but they've exhausted their legal options for appeal.
Two other attorneys plan to join Brooks on this long trek. They say they also want to bring attention to the fact that wrongful convictions continue to exist in our prison system.
The Innocence Project made international news last year with the exoneration of NFL Football player Brian Banks. Banks, other exonerees, family members and supporters also plan to participate in portions of the 55-day journey to the state capital.
The Innocence March kicks off with a 12:00 p.m. rally Saturday, April 27, at the California Western School of Law. Hundreds of supporters plan to walk eight miles to Ocean Beach after the rally.