Seventy-five Reasons to Care

Larry Marshall is a co-coordinator of the National Conference on Wrongful Convictions and the Death Penalty, which will take place November 13-15 in Chicago. Larry teaches at the Northwestern University Law School. He helped win the freedom of Rolando Cruz, who spent more than ten years on death row for a crime he didn't commit. Larry spoke to us about the importance of the Chicago conference:

"The idea of the conference is to educate folks about the realities of the death penalty. It's my belief that if folks understood the real truth about capital punishment in America today - including the very real risk of the innocent being executed - then public support for the death penalty would plunge.

"But America doesn't know that. And they're not going to know that until they begin to see the faces and hear the stories of the wrongly convicted and begin to focus on a lot of the other massive injustices associated with the death penalty. So a major part of the conference is education.

"Without a doubt, the unique and unprecedented aspect of the conference is the gathering of the wrongly convicted from across the country. That's never been done before.

"One moment I expect to be the most profound will be during the plenary session titled '75 Reasons to Care,' where we'll get introduced to many of the wrongly convicted and hear some of their stories while they're sitting on one stage.

"The fact that they're still breathing makes a powerful statement about how awful it is that, at one time, these innocent men and women had been condemned to die."