When Jennifer Brown isn’t working on compliance issues like food and product safety or on environmental health issues for Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc., she’s been known to spend hours at a time scouring court documents from cases involving those held behind bars in the Pacific Northwest.
In fact, she dedicated more than 40 hours of her time last year to looking through court filings and trial transcripts from just one individual case.
Brown is one of the Amazon in-house lawyers who have volunteered their time to do pro bono work for Innocence Project Northwest, a nonprofit that provides legal services for prisoners hoping to prove their innocence.
The organization helps combat wrongful convictions in the state of Washington and, to date, has assisted in 14 exonerations. It works independently of other similar groups, including the well-known Innocence Project based in New York—though the two have similar goals.
So, how did members of Amazon’s legal team get to work behind the scenes on wrongful conviction cases that look a bit like those chronicled in famous podcasts like “Serial” or documentaries like “Making a Murderer” or “West of Memphis”? It started at the top of the department.