On Friday, I had the privilege of attending the launch of The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice right here in New York City. Jeffrey Deskovic, who is featured on our site, served nearly 16 years in prison for a crime he did not commit before he was exonerated through DNA testing in 2006. Unlike many other innocence organizations around the country, Deskovic”s Foundation will accept cases in which DNA evidence is not available, and there will be a strong emphasis on reintegration and reentry services for exonerees. The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation, which is just beginning its work, already has six active cases, and has already assisted in the case of former NYPD Officer Richard Diguglielmo.
Friday”s launch and press conference were well attended, and included a number of recent exonerees including, Fernando Bermudez, Jabbar Collins, Kian Khatibi and Raymond Santana of the Central Park Jogger case. The event was featured on FOX News Good Day New York, CBS News, the CBS New York website and in The Journal News, and News TV 12. The Wall Street Journal published a feature article on the foundation as well.
Deskovic has put $1.5 million of the compensation he received for his wrongful conviction toward the Foundation, but as he stated during the press conference, this money will not sustain the organization forever. He is counting on individual donations as well as invitations to speak at schools and universities, and all of the money raised will go towards helping to free other men and women still imprisoned and working to pass legislation that will prevent future miscarriages of justice.
Congratulations to Jeffrey Deskovic and all of the individuals who helped to launch the Foundation and make Friday”s event a big success!