We Seek Justice
The Deskovic Foundation is a New York based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to exonerating the wrongfully convicted both in DNA and non-DNA cases, as well as wrongful conviction prevention. The Foundation was established as a result of Jeffrey Deskovic’s own wrongful conviction at the age of 17 of the rape and murder of a 15 year old girl. Authorities knew his DNA did not match that of the actual perpetrator – who, three years later, went on to murder another young woman and mother of two – but rogue police officers, prosecutors, and other law enforcement personnel knowingly and maliciously accused, prosecuted, and eventually secured his conviction. After his exoneration and release after sixteen years in prison, Deskovic successfully sued the authorities responsible and used a substantial portion of the compensation he was awarded to start the Deskovic Foundation.
We Fight for the Actually Innocent
The Foundation is not a criminal defense organization. Instead, it is solely concerned with wrongful convictions of actually innocent defendants who played no role in the crimes for which they were convicted. Our investigators examine claims of wrongful conviction, and where warranted, conduct investigation to turn up a sufficient amount of previously unknown evidence of innocence for our attorneys to bring post-conviction claims of actual innocence. In addition, the Foundation also assists peripherally in wrongful conviction cases where the defendant already has substantive legal assistance. This could include helping generate media coverage, consultation, and rallying supporters to attend court proceedings.
WE TAKE ON BOTH DNA AND NON-DNA CASES. Many wrongful conviction organizations focus exclusively on DNA-based cases. Yet, DNA evidence is available in only 5 to 12% of all serious felony cases. The Foundation not only pursues DNA cases but is also willing to work on the harder non-DNA cases.
Good Old Fashioned Investigative Work
The Foundation seeks to exonerate the actually innocent, i.e., prisoners who have no connection to the crime for which they were convicted. Our team of investigators and lawyers comprehensively review court files and evidence introduced at trial, trial transcripts, police reports, and other official documents to uncover uninvestigated leads, alternative suspects, exculpatory evidence, similar crimes in the area. In addition, we examine whether junk science was used, forensic fraud occurred, lab reports were incorrect, expert witnesses without proper credentials testified, or prosecutorial misconduct such as withholding exculpatory evidence took place. We interview new witnesses, witnesses who did not testify, as well as re-interview trial witnesses. Where it is an option, we also utilize DNA testing.
We’ve Already Made a Difference
Although the Foundation is relatively young, it has already exonerated two people. We are currently fighting to overturn nine other wrongful convictions.
The Deskovic Foundation exonerated William Haughey after he spent 8 years and 4 months in prison for an arson he did not commit. The Foundation’s investigation turned up critical evidence that resulted in Haughey’s conviction being overturned on May 19, 2016.
The Foundation, working in collaboration with William Lopez’s pre-existing legal team of Richard Levitt and Yvonne Shivers, provided critical investigative resources, turning up evidence of innocence, as well as helping secure testimony from a witness who had been deported to the Dominican Republic, which resulted in Lopez being exonerated on January 23, 2013 after spending 23 1/2 years in prison for a murder he had not committed.
Help Us Fight for Justice
When the wrong person is sent to prison, their families and friends are sent with them, while the victim and his/her family is impacted as well. At the same time, society is in danger because the actual perpetrator is free to strike again. We hope you’ll join our fight to free the wrongfully imprisoned and prevent wrongful convictions by donating to our efforts.