The Northern California Innocence Project denounces the deeply disturbing expressions of hate, racism and bigotry we witnessed this weekend in Charlottesville, VA. Our hearts and thoughts are with the individuals and organizations that continually stand up and fight for justice, truth, and equality in our communities.
We at NCIP are committed to the ideals of a fair and compassionate criminal justice system. While we cannot understand the hateful and racist beliefs expressed in Charlottesville, we understand one thing very clearly: these beliefs do not stop at the courthouse doors. They affect every level of our justice system from arrest to conviction. While African Americans make up 13% of the US population, they make up almost 50% of the more than 2,000 exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations. When views of racial superiority are condoned, it only makes it easier to wrongfully convict innocent people.
We continue to work towards the day that hateful ideologies and racial biases are not tolerated in our country and communities. As the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”