Tennessee Innocence Project to open Memphis office

Published: Jul. 6, 2023 at 4:51 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Since 2019, the Tennessee Innocence Project has made it their mission to fight for the wrongfully convicted.

With a central location in Nashville, the organization will soon open doors in Midtown Memphis.

“It made a lot of sense for us to open a Memphis office because we get more requests for help from Memphis than any other jurisdiction in the state of Tennessee,” said Jessica Van Dyke, executive director of the Tennessee Innocence Project.

Van Dyke says when the wrong person is convicted of a crime, the right person is free to do more harm.

“The community of Memphis benefits whenever we all know who really committed a crime; and then secondly, I think community benefits when we have trust in the system,” Van Dyke said.

She adds that the biggest motivator to open the location was the Shelby County District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit, which allows prosecutors to take a second look at cases to ensure justice was really served at the time of conviction.

“Us being able to partner with a collaborative entity like a conviction review unit like they have in Shelby County is a game-changer,” Van Dyke said.

The Tennessee Innocence Project has an application process that begins online for those who say, “I did not commit this crime; please take a second look at my case.”

“But the cases are here, the people are here, they need our help,” said Van Dyke. “And so we’re excited to jump right in and be a part of the community.”

If you would like more information on the Tennessee Innocence Project, please visit TNInnocence.org.

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