The Oklahoma Innocence Project (OIP) officially launched in August 2011. The project is dedicated to identifying and remedying cases of wrongful convictions in Oklahoma. Bringing together OCU LAW students to work with attorneys and the director, the OIP pursues only cases in which there is credible evidence of factual innocence.
Prior to the OIP’s opening, there were already numerous cases in Oklahoma where innocence people were exonerated. While imprisoned for a crime they did not commit, Oklahoma exonerees spent from four to twenty years behind bars. Oklahoma ranks in the top 10 in the nation in terms of the number of known wrongful convictions of innocent people.
Our criminal justice system is among the finest in the world, but it is not immune to human error. Studies show a 1.6% error rate nationwide for capital cases and a 3-4% error rate for other cases. No one wants to see the wrong person convicted for a crime they did not commit. We all have an interest in correcting wrongful convictions when they occur, and pursuing the actual guilty party.