On Wednesday, May 9th, State Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf was presented the Hero of Justice Award from the Pennsylvania Innocence Project during the organization’s annual gala at WHYY studios in Philadelphia.
The award recognizes Senator Greenleaf’s “sustained career fighting to reform Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system to create a truly just and restorative system for all Commonwealth citizens.” The award acknowledges Greenleaf as a “tireless advocate for the convicted innocent, fighting to improve access to justice, give voice to victims, reform antiquated sentencing laws, and shine the light of humanity on those our system has forgotten and traumatized.”
Since opening their doors nine years ago, the Pennsylvania Innocence Project has proven the innocence of seven wrongly convicted Pennsylvanians. In total, 68 people have been exonerated in Pennsylvania—13 of them from post-conviction DNA testing.
Currently, Senator Greenleaf is fighting for the passage of his SB 915, which would extend the deadline to apply for post-conviction relief when new evidence emerges from 60 days to one year. The Senate passed this bill on April 17th, and advocates are working to see it through the House of Representatives.
Senator Greenleaf said, “The reality of innocent people in our prisons has finally penetrated the national consciousness, and I feel that we are on the verge of many more great legislative accomplishments. I am deeply honored to receive the Hero of Justice Award, but I want to make clear that the hard working individuals at the Innocence Project are the real Heroes of Justice.”
Contact: Aaron Zappia (215) 657-7700