So far, 2012 has been “particularly insane” for the lawyers and law students who make up the University of Virginia School of Law’s Innocence Project Clinic, according to Deirdre Enright, the clinic’s director of investigation.
The Innocence Project has received a great deal of media attention this year for its work to exonerate Eric Weakley, one of the so-called Culpeper Three. Weakley, alongside Michael Hash and Jason Kloby, was arrested in May 2000 in connection with the 1996 shooting death of church organist Thelma Scroggins.
The project is also working to clear the name of a Mineral man who was wrongly convicted of rape based on an accusation that was later recanted, and his own false confession.
For the five-year-old Innocence Project, the recent successes have provided a national profile and drawn new interest from donors, the legal community and from prisoners who hope to convince people that their convictions are worth a second look.
“I strongly support the Innocence Project,” said Albemarle County Sheriff J.E. “Chip” Harding, who has worked closely with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project in investigating Hash’s case.
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