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Ohio Innocence Project Spring 2021 Fundraiser

Raised toward our $200,000 Goal
105 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on June 30, at 11:59 PM EDT
Project Owners

Ohio Innocence Project Spring 2021 Fundraiser

Welcome to the Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law, where our goal is simple: we want to free every innocent person in Ohio who has been convicted of a crime they didn't commit. We’re proud to be a part of the University of Cincinnati, where we made our home in 2003. Since our inception, our work has led to the release of 33 wrongfully convicted Ohioans who collectively served over 660 years behind bars. That makes us one of the top-performing members among the international Innocence Network.

Scroll through the videos at the top of the page to experience for yourself the impacts of your support:

  • OIP exonerees tell their stories 
  • OIP's criminal justice reform efforts in the statehouse and beyond 
  • The emotional May 3, 2021 release of Michael Sutton and Kenny Phillips, who served 15 years in prison for an attempted murder they did not commit

Our work includes helping develop and advocate for lasting criminal justice reform through legislation as well as launching Ohio Innocence Project University, an active network of student groups at colleges across the state.

Your gift to the Ohio Innocence Project will help us continue fighting for wrongfully convicted Ohioans.

To learn more about the work of the Ohio Innocence Project, please visit our website. 

2020 Highlights

  • OIP freed 4 innocent individuals in 2020: Jerry McMeans - wrongfully imprisoned 30 years; Christopher Smith - wrongfully imprisoned 12 years; Isaiah Andrews - wrongfully imprisoned 45 years; and Al Cleveland - wrongfully imprisoned 25 years. Learn more about these men in the 7th Edition OIP Review.
  • In February 2020, the East Cleveland 3 (Laurese Glover, Eugene Johnson, and Derrick Wheatt) had a very successful OIP-u tour. They shared their story with 700 people across 5 different Ohio colleges.
  • OIP held its first ever virtual fundraiser and it was the most successful one yet, raising over $200,000 to help free innocent Ohio prisoners.
  • In November 2020, OIP hosted a free virtual CLE sponsored by the Friends of OIP. Black Robes, Black Lives: The Courts’ Duty to Address Systemic Racism featured Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and had over 200 attendees.

2021 Highlights

  • Michael Sutton was Freed on May 3. Read more about his case.
  • OIP has their largest class of OIP Law Student Fellows starting in the summer of 2021. There will be 26 fellows in total; 22 will be working on legal cases and 4 will be working on legislation.
  • House Bill 8 passed unanimously and is now on to the Senate. We’re hopeful that this bill will be passed in 2021. To learn more about the bill, click here.

A Very Special Thank You to the Friends of OIP!

1919 Investment Counsel

Barbara J. Howard Company, LPA

Bartlett Wealth Management 

Blank Rome LLP

Dinsmore & Shohl LLP

Katz Teller

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP / The Estabrook Trust

Procter & Gamble Legal

Rittgers & Rittgers

Choose a giving level


How can $100 make an impact?

Covers the cost for a public record request or transcript.


How can $250 make an impact?

Covers the cost for three hours of private investigator time.


How can $500 make an impact?

Covers the cost for two hours of expert witness review and analysis.


How can $1,000 make an impact?

Covers the cost for One DNA Test.


How can $1,500 make an impact?

Covers the cost for prison visits or investigative trips for OIP student fellows.


How can $2,000 make an impact?

Covers the cost to support programming for one OIP-u chapter for a year.


How can $2,500 make an impact?

Covers the cost spent on clothing and basic supplies for an exoneree upon release from prison.


How can $5,000 make an impact?

Covers the cost for One OIP Fellow summer salary.