GOVX 2019: Making An Exoneree

The 2019 Making an Exoneree project featured groundbreaking work by 18 Georgetown students who worked to free 6 individuals who have served a combined total of 150 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. Within the context of the Prison Reform Project class, co-taught by PJI Director Marc Howard and his childhood friend Marty Tankleff (himself an exoneree who served almost 18 years in prison), the students created short documentaries on each case, based on extensive interviews with eyewitnesses, attorneys, experts, family members, and the incarcerated citizens themselves.

On Wednesday, May 1, the Prisons and Justice Initiative hosted an extraordinary and moving event that drew over 350 people to experience the student-made documentaries for each case and actually hear the live voices—by phone from prison—of the potential exonerees, who told the audience with great emotion what this project has meant to them.

The event also featured Valentino Dixon, who was exonerated on September 19, 2018, thanks to the work of last year’s students in the same class.

See the Georgetown University homepage feature story on the Making an Exoneree event.

Below, you will find more information about each of our 6 cases, including links to the full documentaries, which are also available as a playlist on the PJI YouTube channel.

John Brookins: 28 years
James Fowler: 25 years
Tjane Marshall: 13 years
Eric Riddick: 27 years
Nanon Williams: 27 years
Christina Boyer: 28 years