On September 28 at 7 p.m., Tiffin University’s undergraduate chapter of the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP-u:TU) will host a movie night in the Chisholm Auditorium located in Franks Hall on campus. The organization will show a Ken Burns documentary entitled, “The Central Park Five,” which focuses on the famed case of a group of teenagers wrongfully convicted for aggravated assault and rape in the late 1980s. This event is free and open to the public.
The documentary’s namesake group consisted of five African American and Hispanic teens who were picked up by local law enforcement after a jogger was attacked in NYC’s Central Park earlier the same evening. The arresting officers coerced them into giving false confessions, and all members of the group were later convicted and imprisoned despite their confessions not matching the actual details of the crime. Furthermore, the presence of DNA evidence at the crime scene with the potential to exonerate the five was ignored. They were released in 2014 and given reparations in the amount of $41,000,000 through a court settlement.
The Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) was founded in 2003. Since its founding, Ohio Innocence Project has freed 36 Ohioans who served over 700 years for crimes they did not commit, which makes it one of the top performing members among the international Innocence Network. OIP continues to devote itself to freeing people who are imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. It is the only Ohio-based nonprofit organization dedicated to freeing innocent persons, as well as educating the public on the flaws of our legal system and the societal issues that lead to such injustices. In addition, OIP advocates for legislation that reforms the criminal justice system to prevent wrongful convictions.
OIP-u:TU is an undergraduate-run extracurricular group, which belongs and reports to the greater OIP umbrella organization. Their mission is to further the goals of the collective, as well as provide educational and awareness-based programming about wrongful convictions and the legal system both on campus and locally. They are also affiliated with the Tiffin University School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences.
For more information about OIP-u:TU, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/oipuTiffinu.
Please contact Dr. Steven Hurwitz, program faculty advisor with any questions at email@example.com.