The Irish Innocence Project is based in Griffith College in Dublin. Formerly the Richmond Bridewell Prison, a man named Joseph Pool was convicted of murder, hanged and buried there in an unmarked grave in 1883. It is thought that he was wrongly convicted of the crime.
Aside from the historical legacy of its surroundings, the organisers of the Irish Innocence Project are finding other ways to distinguish itself from the wider Innocence Network, comprised of 68 projects worldwide.
The organisations provide free legal and investigative services to prove the innocence of people wrongfully convicted of crimes. Most often, law students work in collaboration with lawyers to investigate the cases of prisoners who claim innocence.“I would say students almost all describe their experience working on the Innocence Project as the most important experience of their college career . . . it’s not just an academic exercise. These are real lives they’re working with, real cases,” says Anne Driscoll, a US journalist who joined the project in 2013 on a Fulbright Scholarship.
She is now the project manager.She is still the senior reporter at the Justice Brandeis Law Project, a journalism-based innocence project at Brandeis University in the US. She has worked with students on innocence cases since 2006.Students have a responsibility to address the “enormous amount of pain and damage” caused by a miscarriage of justice and wrongful conviction while working on the project. “It’s an experience that really couldn’t be replicated anywhere else,” she says.