The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice is creating Freeing innocent people from prison; prevent wrongful conviction
75
patrons
$367
per month
The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice is a 501 C 3 organization whose mission is to free prisoners who are incarcerated for crimes that they are innocent of, as well as prevent wrongful convictions by raising awareness and seeking changes in the law designed to make the system more accurate.

Wrongful convictions occur much more frequently than what most people in society realize. In 2015, 149 people were exonerated, while 139 were in 2014, while 91 people were in both 2013 and 2012. A recent Wayne State University estimates that 10,000 new people are wrongfully convicted each year, while other publications reference that between 50,000 to 120,000 people are wrongfully imprisoned across the country. The National Registry of Exonerations, which tracks exonerations nationally, has thus far documented, from 1991 forward, 2448 exonerations as of this writing.

Who is Jeffrey Deskovic, and why did he start a Foundation for Justice?
Jeffrey Deskovic, M.A., spent 16 years in prison-from age 17 to 32- wrongfully convicted of murder and rape, despite a pre-trial negative DNA test, based upon a coerced false confession, prosecutorial misconduct, fraud by the medical examiner, and an inept public defender. He lost all seven appeals and was turned down for parole. Jeff was exonerated by further DNA Testing through the DNA databank which identified the actual perpetrator, who had killed a second victim who was a school teacher and mother of two.

After receiving some financial compensation for what happened to him, and unable to forget about the people whom he metaphorically left behind, Jeff committed $1.5 million dollars to launch the organization. But although he has been very generous in donating that money, he cannot carry the organization on his own. The Foundation currently has 600 cases that are awaiting screening to determine if the organization believes in their innocence claim, along with whether it believes that there is a way that it can prove the applicants innocence. There are additionally 15-20 new requests for help that come in every week.

Jeff's story can be encapsulated in the following 1 minute, 31 seconds video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXtsdpCmNb8

Results and Uniqueness
In it's 6 years of existence, The Foundation has freed 7 wrongfully convicted people, while a eighth person recently had their conviction overturned and is awaiting a retrial. 

Highlights have included: exonerating William Lopez, who had been wrongfully imprisoned for 23 1/2 years; exonerating William Haughey, who had been wrongfully imprisoned 8 years and 4 months; helping to pass legislation to record interrogations and improve identification procedures; playing a key role in helping to pass legislation creating the countries first Commission On Prosecutorial Conduct [an independent oversight board reviewing allegations of prosecutorial misconduct] and Discovery Reform, taking NY from having one of the worst discovery laws to one of the best. We also created, "The Thinking Juror's manual."

What makes the Foundation unique is: 1) it handles both DNA and Non-DNA cases; 2) it advocates policy changes other organizations privately agree with us about but won't advocate for; 3) we utilize parole as a stop-gap measure (we are 4 for 8 on such efforts); 4) we are the only organization started by an exoneree which has an exonerative component.

Jeff's expertise.

Upon release, Jeff became a tireless advocate for the wrongfully convicted whose body of work includes: giving more than 100 presentations across the country; authoring more than 200 articles; giving hundreds of print, radio, and television interviews; educating elected officials and testifying at legislative hearings in NY, Connecticut, and D.C. Thanks to a scholarship from Mercy College, he completed the B.A., and in 2013 he graduated with a Masters Degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which included a thesis written on wrongful conviction prevention. He co-taught a wrongful conviction college course at Rockland Community College, and has lectured at: police academies; judicial seminars; defense bars; and groups of prosecutors. Here is Jeff's bio: http://www.chartwellspeakers.com/speaker/jeffrey-d... Jeff recently graduated with a law degree from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.  

In recognition of his advocacy work, Jeff has received New York 1's "New Yorker of the Year" award [http://bit.ly/1LP8kLe] ; "Humanitarian of the Year" from the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce [http://bit.ly/1KvkNC1]; the Agent of Change Award [https://www.youtube.com/watch?<wbr>v=2HKdVvqeAcQ&t=52s]; the 2018 Distinguished Alumn Award from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice [https://www.youtube.com/watch?<wbr>v=z2Wc6085YYw&t=1009s] and the Private Sector Servant of Justice Award [https://www.youtube.com/watch?<wbr>v=xkgA4z_QJH4&t=22s] Jeff's attendance at the NY State Legislature just before the final vote to pass the Commission On Prosecutor Conduct was recognized and his case cited as a reason why elected officials were voting for the bill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?<wbr>v=Uu2a-PSCCyQ&t=590s

Here is a touching video that the NY Times made, which focuses on the devastating impact that wrongful conviction had on Jeff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32OuEsGZzb4
 
We are on Patreon to build a sustainable donor base to support our work of preventing wrongful convictions and helping to free the wrongfully convicted.

The Foundation will regularly post content monthly. This will include: an update on advocacy work engaged in; links to television and radio interviews the Foundation does; upcoming speaking engagements; op-eds; training seminars conducted; proposals submitted; general updates from the organization; exonerations. If it's advocacy work that was engaged in, in whatever form, The Foundation will give it's patrons updates.

The Foundation believes that, in order to be sustainable, it needs the assistance of recurring small monthly donations- imagine if we had 40,000 people who could afford to donate $5 every month, or even $3, what we could do??!!- as well as large donors, board members who have large giving capacity, grants, and professional organizations who can donate in-kind donations. We welcome the assistance of those who have radio and television shows, podcasts, other platforms, and audiences for speaking engagements through which we can reach their audience to explain the urgency of our work and ask their assistance, even if it is only at the level of $5. If we all do a little, a lot can be accomplished!!!

The Foundation would like to add 5 board members who have the capacity to write a large check of  a minimum of $100,000 while opening their personal network of people of similar ability. Interested parties should email the Foundation through it's website www.Deskovic.org , as should large donors who are interested and professional organizations who can donate in-kind services, for which they can receive a tax write off.  We also welcome the assistance of those who can help us increase our visibility, including referencing our campaign, including through the medium of: blogging; blog talk radio; social media; and media interviews- no entity or audience is too small!  We also give presentations at colleges, universities, law schools, high schools, community organizations, and organizations for criminal justice professionals- wherever and however we can get the word out there about this most important cause, which our Founder knows about all too well. Having finally established his innocence and regained his freedom, he is eager for his non-profit organization to continue it's work at freeing others!
Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month

Goals
$367 of $75,000 per month
$900,000

If we could raise $746,000, this would enable the Foundation to add to it's exoneration infrastructure. Specifically, the money will be utilized to hire: 3 competent attorneys; an executive director; 3 investigators; 3 paralegals; a fundraiser; administrative assistant; public relations person; and volunteer coordinator.

Other essential expenses include: office expenses; investigative expenses; legal costs; DNA testing; and fundraising activities including an annual gala freedom dinner.

Below is a description of each essential position.

Our ULTIMATE goal is to: A) build an endowment which would guarantee our perpetual existence, and B) have a chapter in each state and foreign chapters in each country.

The Foundation needs 25,000 supporters willing to donate $3 to $5 a month on a RECURRING basis.  Can YOU afford that?  Wrongful Imprisonment is EVERYBODY'S PROBLEM because It Can Happen To You, your daughter, your son, your family member, your friend, or your neighbor. NOBODY is SAFE!!! Will you contribute?  Will you help?  Every little bit helps and is appreciated!

The funds we raise will be used for the following staff and resources:

3 Attorneys. The attorneys participate in the discussion as to which cases are worked, help map out the investigative lines, file Freedom Of Information Law requests, draft the necessary legal documents, attend meetings with the district attorney’s office for the purpose of seeking the prosecution's agreement to dismiss an indictment on actual innocence grounds, and if that fails, litigating the case through all stages. The senior attorney manages the legal work from a macro level while the associate attorneys give The Foundation the capacity to handle a nice size case load, including managing the investigators.

Executive Director.  The Executive Director oversees the entire staff, monitors progress on cases, develops strategic partnerships and affiliations with academic institutions, advance reforms, and appear at events and meet with elected officials where necessary. This position will NOT be filled by Jeffrey Deskovic: Jeff's best role is to be the public face of the organization- doing presentations, media interviews, meeting with elected officials, writing op-eds etc; not doing administrative work, overseeing employees, or focusing on development and fundraising.

Investigator + investigative expenses. It is the work of the investigators in interviewing in trying to turning up new evidence, interviewing new witnesses, re-interviewing witnesses, and running down leads that is the key to undoing a wrongful conviction in a non-DNA case: if no new evidence is turned up, there is nothing to base a challenge to the conviction on. Having three investigators would enable the Foundation to complete investigations with efficiency and speed, as well as have a good case capacity. There are always expenses involved in running an investigation: sometimes travel, lodging, and meals are necessary, making copies, accessing databases etc.

 Paralegal   
  Paralegals are the intake department. The Foundation currently has a backlog of 600 cases- many of which have been waiting for as long as several years, which are simply awaiting review to determine if we believe in their innocence claim and if there is a way to turn the case around. We are also receiving 15-20 new requests for help each week. The paralegals engage in correspondence, sending out the questionnaire, gathering the legal documents needed to review a case, then reviewing hundreds, sometimes even thousands of pages for each case, then meet with the rest of the legal team to discuss whether the case will be accepted; then they help guide the ongoing work on the case.
 
Administrative Assistant
The administrative assistant is responsible for ensuring that all of the Foundation's bills are paid on time; expenses are documented; the books are kept; documents are organized and retrievable; interacting with accountants and other outside entities; answering the phones; scheduling; handling other administrative tasks; and generally being a utility infielder.

Public Relations Person.  The job of the public relations person is to keep The Foundation in the news consistently, making as many media appearances as possible, in order to raise the profile of The Foundation and of wrongful conviction.

Coordinator of Volunteers and Event Planner. 
The Foundation receives many offers from volunteers, students, and pro-bono attorneys and other professionals. The Foundation would benefit from the influx of additional assistance that does not add to our overhead. However, in order to ensure quality work, efficiency, instruction, and engagement, an experienced professional is essential.

Fundraiser 
As part of establishing a sustainable model, the Foundation needs a person solely committed to carrying out fundraising activities such as building and expanding a board of directors, attracting both large and small individual donors, corporate sponsors, finding sponsors to host small cultivating events throughout the year, organizing an annual gala dinner, overseeing grant applications, and other activities the purpose of which is to raise money. The Fundraiser works intimately with the executive director.

office space/utilities/supplies 
An office space where the team can meet and work together is essential. Maintaining an office also entails paying for utilities, such as electric, internet etc. as well as having office supply costs: paper, pads, ink cartridges, envelopes, postage etc. Interviews with the media as well as meeting with potential large donors and board members also takes place at the office.


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The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice is a 501 C 3 organization whose mission is to free prisoners who are incarcerated for crimes that they are innocent of, as well as prevent wrongful convictions by raising awareness and seeking changes in the law designed to make the system more accurate.

Wrongful convictions occur much more frequently than what most people in society realize. In 2015, 149 people were exonerated, while 139 were in 2014, while 91 people were in both 2013 and 2012. A recent Wayne State University estimates that 10,000 new people are wrongfully convicted each year, while other publications reference that between 50,000 to 120,000 people are wrongfully imprisoned across the country. The National Registry of Exonerations, which tracks exonerations nationally, has thus far documented, from 1991 forward, 2448 exonerations as of this writing.

Who is Jeffrey Deskovic, and why did he start a Foundation for Justice?
Jeffrey Deskovic, M.A., spent 16 years in prison-from age 17 to 32- wrongfully convicted of murder and rape, despite a pre-trial negative DNA test, based upon a coerced false confession, prosecutorial misconduct, fraud by the medical examiner, and an inept public defender. He lost all seven appeals and was turned down for parole. Jeff was exonerated by further DNA Testing through the DNA databank which identified the actual perpetrator, who had killed a second victim who was a school teacher and mother of two.

After receiving some financial compensation for what happened to him, and unable to forget about the people whom he metaphorically left behind, Jeff committed $1.5 million dollars to launch the organization. But although he has been very generous in donating that money, he cannot carry the organization on his own. The Foundation currently has 600 cases that are awaiting screening to determine if the organization believes in their innocence claim, along with whether it believes that there is a way that it can prove the applicants innocence. There are additionally 15-20 new requests for help that come in every week.

Jeff's story can be encapsulated in the following 1 minute, 31 seconds video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXtsdpCmNb8

Results and Uniqueness
In it's 6 years of existence, The Foundation has freed 7 wrongfully convicted people, while a eighth person recently had their conviction overturned and is awaiting a retrial. 

Highlights have included: exonerating William Lopez, who had been wrongfully imprisoned for 23 1/2 years; exonerating William Haughey, who had been wrongfully imprisoned 8 years and 4 months; helping to pass legislation to record interrogations and improve identification procedures; playing a key role in helping to pass legislation creating the countries first Commission On Prosecutorial Conduct [an independent oversight board reviewing allegations of prosecutorial misconduct] and Discovery Reform, taking NY from having one of the worst discovery laws to one of the best. We also created, "The Thinking Juror's manual."

What makes the Foundation unique is: 1) it handles both DNA and Non-DNA cases; 2) it advocates policy changes other organizations privately agree with us about but won't advocate for; 3) we utilize parole as a stop-gap measure (we are 4 for 8 on such efforts); 4) we are the only organization started by an exoneree which has an exonerative component.

Jeff's expertise.

Upon release, Jeff became a tireless advocate for the wrongfully convicted whose body of work includes: giving more than 100 presentations across the country; authoring more than 200 articles; giving hundreds of print, radio, and television interviews; educating elected officials and testifying at legislative hearings in NY, Connecticut, and D.C. Thanks to a scholarship from Mercy College, he completed the B.A., and in 2013 he graduated with a Masters Degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which included a thesis written on wrongful conviction prevention. He co-taught a wrongful conviction college course at Rockland Community College, and has lectured at: police academies; judicial seminars; defense bars; and groups of prosecutors. Here is Jeff's bio: http://www.chartwellspeakers.com/speaker/jeffrey-d... Jeff recently graduated with a law degree from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.  

In recognition of his advocacy work, Jeff has received New York 1's "New Yorker of the Year" award [http://bit.ly/1LP8kLe] ; "Humanitarian of the Year" from the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce [http://bit.ly/1KvkNC1]; the Agent of Change Award [https://www.youtube.com/watch?<wbr>v=2HKdVvqeAcQ&t=52s]; the 2018 Distinguished Alumn Award from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice [https://www.youtube.com/watch?<wbr>v=z2Wc6085YYw&t=1009s] and the Private Sector Servant of Justice Award [https://www.youtube.com/watch?<wbr>v=xkgA4z_QJH4&t=22s] Jeff's attendance at the NY State Legislature just before the final vote to pass the Commission On Prosecutor Conduct was recognized and his case cited as a reason why elected officials were voting for the bill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?<wbr>v=Uu2a-PSCCyQ&t=590s

Here is a touching video that the NY Times made, which focuses on the devastating impact that wrongful conviction had on Jeff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32OuEsGZzb4
 
We are on Patreon to build a sustainable donor base to support our work of preventing wrongful convictions and helping to free the wrongfully convicted.

The Foundation will regularly post content monthly. This will include: an update on advocacy work engaged in; links to television and radio interviews the Foundation does; upcoming speaking engagements; op-eds; training seminars conducted; proposals submitted; general updates from the organization; exonerations. If it's advocacy work that was engaged in, in whatever form, The Foundation will give it's patrons updates.

The Foundation believes that, in order to be sustainable, it needs the assistance of recurring small monthly donations- imagine if we had 40,000 people who could afford to donate $5 every month, or even $3, what we could do??!!- as well as large donors, board members who have large giving capacity, grants, and professional organizations who can donate in-kind donations. We welcome the assistance of those who have radio and television shows, podcasts, other platforms, and audiences for speaking engagements through which we can reach their audience to explain the urgency of our work and ask their assistance, even if it is only at the level of $5. If we all do a little, a lot can be accomplished!!!

The Foundation would like to add 5 board members who have the capacity to write a large check of  a minimum of $100,000 while opening their personal network of people of similar ability. Interested parties should email the Foundation through it's website www.Deskovic.org , as should large donors who are interested and professional organizations who can donate in-kind services, for which they can receive a tax write off.  We also welcome the assistance of those who can help us increase our visibility, including referencing our campaign, including through the medium of: blogging; blog talk radio; social media; and media interviews- no entity or audience is too small!  We also give presentations at colleges, universities, law schools, high schools, community organizations, and organizations for criminal justice professionals- wherever and however we can get the word out there about this most important cause, which our Founder knows about all too well. Having finally established his innocence and regained his freedom, he is eager for his non-profit organization to continue it's work at freeing others!

Recent posts by The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice

Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month