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Archive for the ‘The Innocence Project’ Category

Following the reconstruction of The Portland Press Herald’s website, the article previously know as “Selling art that will set people free” has been retitled. It was originally released on March 5, 2009.

Please read the article, at the new link, HERE.

Thank you!

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At the peak of Munjoy Hill is the cozy Hilltop Cafe which housed Donald Verger‘s most recent show “Faces of Innocence”. This show featured a collection of work which focuses on a new subject, instead of the familiar lighthouses and nature scenes, Verger presents his audience with images of people. His style still holds onto the beautiful use of color, luminous light, as well as patience and the eye to catch that perfect moment. The photography embodies a new personality, people are caught in moments going about their daily lives, and presented for us to examine. Character shines through this collection and Verger’s photography is brought to a much more personal level as you see eye to eye with smiling strangers you’ve never met, but somehow feel that you’ve gotten to know then though the art alone.

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Donald Verger has been working on his Innocence Project Benefit shows in order to aid and support The Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization based in New York, dedicated to freeing individuals accused and imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. This organization is also helping to fix problems in the criminal justice system which allow such errors to occur. Verger was a victim of misidentification and now uses his story as inspiration and his photography as a medium to help others.

Thank you for the support of all those who have come to shows and donated to the Innocence Project.

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Don’t miss Donald Verger’s new show! Throughout the month of April, a selection of Verger’s freshest photography will be on display at the Hilltop Cafe in Portland, ME. Unlike other work which features majestic lighthouses and the beauty of nature that graces our everyday, this show will be featuring the photography of people. Familiar and unfamiliar faces, the face of innocence…

Come join us at the Opening Reception, on Friday, April 3rd, 5-7pm. 100% of sales are donated to The Innocence Project.

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This picture, taken on the Opening Reception for The Innocence Project Benefit at the North Star Cafe, shows Eileen Skinner, President and CEO of Mercy Hospital, and photographer, Donald Verger, sharing a laugh. Donald Verger’s opening reception raised over $2,000 for the nonprofit organization in New York. Eileen Skinner made a leadership donation to the Innocence Project, which Verger matched, also donating his image “Dawn of Peace”. Mr. Verger’s healing work is displayed in a rotating gallery in Mercy Hospital, a donation from this award winning photographer to be enjoyed by both the patients and staff. For more information about how you can help Mercy hospital, visit their page about giving to the hospital.

The show in the North Star Cafe lasted through the month of March, now for the month of April a new show will be on display at the Hilltop Cafe in Portland, ME. The Artist’s reception is part of the First Friday, Portland, Maine’s, Artwalk, Friday April 3, 5-7. Free coffee and tea will be donated by the Hilltop folks. 100% of sales will be donated to the Innocence Project by Verger. The story of Donald Verger’s inspiration for these charitable photography shows was printed in the Portland Press Herald and Munjoy Hill News.
Don’t miss a chace to enjoy new photography by Donald Verger!

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There is a powerful new book, Picking Cotton, about misidentification. A powerful story of the criminal justice system going wrong and of ultimate forgiveness and new insights.

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Donald is planning a show to Benefit the Innocence Project for the month of April at Portland, Maine’s Hilltop Cafe, 90 Congress Street. Return to this blog for details coming soon. In the meantime, google the new and powerful book, Picking Cotton by Ronald Cotton and Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Erin Torneo. 

Ronald, Jennifer, and Erin recived the 2008 Soros Justice Media Fellowship for this couragous book.

Visit their website.

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With Mr. Verger’s recent mishap of mistaken identity, eyes have been turned to recognize The Innocence Project as a way to help fix the system of identification. Their informing website educates you on the causes of these misidentified innocents, offers cases of these individuals, and offers options for how you can help.

Donald Verger’s case was that of “eyewitness misidentification”, the most common cause of mistaken identity.

A lot can be learned simply from the organization’s mission statement:

“The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist prisoners who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. To date, 233 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 17 who served time on death row. These people served an average of 12 years in prison before exoneration and release.

The Innocence Project’s full-time staff attorneys and Cardozo clinic students provide direct representation or critical assistance in most of these cases. The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is nothing less than to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.”

Read more at The Innocence Project. Please do what you can to help, perhaps even donate.

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The program “60 Minutes”  featured cases of mistaken identity, and the causes of eyewitness misidentification.

Here are some videos: Manufacturing Memories, Catching the Right Criminal, 1983: Lenell Geter, and Stress and Memory.

“Picking Cotton”

Ronald Cotton, a man wrongly accused of rape, served 11 years in jail because of eyewitness misidentification.  Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, the woman who misidentified Ronald, now works with him to help fix these flaws in the criminal justice system in order to prevent cases like these. Their book Picking Cotton tells about their story and struggle with the case of misidentification.

CBS News Story, Eyewitness: How Accurate is Visual Memory, features this case.

We want to hear what you have to say. Have you been a victim of mistaken identity? Perhaps someone you know? Tell us your story.

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