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“Human Values and The Innocence Project”

2017 Tanner Lecture on Human Values with Barry Scheck
Wednesday, February 08, 2017 | 7PM
University of Utah (map)

The Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah presents the 2017 Tanner Lecture on Human Values “Human Values and The Innocence Project” by Barry Scheck, attorney and co-founder of the Innocence Project at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8. This event is free and open to the public and will be held at the S.J. Quinney College of Law building, Moot Courtroom, floor six (map).

Started in 1992, the Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to reforming the criminal justice system to prevent injustice. Scheck and the organization have used DNA evidence to exonerate almost 300 wrongfully imprisoned people, many of whom were on death row or had been incarcerated for decades. In his lecture, Mr. Scheck will discuss that this is more than just about solving crimes; that it is a civil rights movement. In 1992, no state allowed post-conviction cases to be exonerated by DNA testing. The fact that DNA testing has been able to right the wrongs of the convictions of innocent individuals makes it a moral imperative to pursue the truth and justice for those incarcerated wrongly. Court and police reform are key factors in the process of restoring the true meaning of the justice part of the justice system. The criminal trial system has traditionally been an adversarial model but needs focus on “just getting it right.”

“As America works to close the gap between its promise and reality we must look to the example of Barry Scheck’s Innocence Project,” said Tanner Center Director Bob Goldberg. “It is a critical force in creating the just society.”


Barry Scheck is an attorney, DNA expert, and co-founder of the Innocence Project. He is known for landmark litigation that set the standards for using DNA evidence in courts. He has spearheaded a nationwide movement to re-examine the fairness and efficacy of our criminal justice system. A Commissioner for the New York State Forensic Science Review Board and Professor at the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, Scheck is considered one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America.


The Innocence Project, founded in 1992 by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck at Cardozo School of Law, exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. Its mission is to free the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated, and to bring reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.


  • To date, the Innocence Project has helped exonerate more than 190 wrongly convicted prisoners who unjustly served a combined 4,662 years in prison.
  • Received over 51,000 letters requesting assistance.
  • Trained over 2,700 judges, attorneys, forensic practitioners, scientists, and academics from around the country on eyewitness I.D. and forensics testimony in court.
  • The Innocence Project’s website had nearly 2 million visitors in 2015.
  • Over 80% of every dollar donated goes directly to funding program services.

Last Updated: 7/26/21