Contact: Anna Tolin
Jacqueline McMurtrie



NFL Hopeful Brian Banks to speak at Innocence Project NW 15th Anniversary Celebration

On April 4, the Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) welcomes NFL hopeful Brian Banks as the keynote speaker for IPNW’s 15th Anniversary and Awards Dinner. Banks’ recent exoneration from a wrongful rape conviction in California was featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes. Banks joins IPNW as we honor our exceptional award recipients and IPNW exonerees who have fought to regain their freedom from wrongful imprisonment in Washington.

Award recipients include:

  • The Innocence Champion Award will be given to veteran journalists Jack and Leslie Hamann for their award-winning book On American Soil: How Justice Became a Casualty of WWII, and their ongoing advocacy for the wrongly accused.
  • U.S. Congressman Adam Smith, whose efforts helped free American Jason Puracal from his wrongful imprisonment in Nicaragua will receive the Innocence Advocate Award.
  • IPNW’s Pro Bono Award will be presented to criminal defense and civil rights attorney Joseph Pierce who has devoted hundreds of volunteer hours to the IPNW since relocating to Seattle from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The Innocence Project Northwest was founded in 1997 by UW Law Professor Jacqueline McMurtrie. It was the third innocence program in the United States and is the only resource of its kind in Washington State. The event will help raise vital resources to support IPNW’s efforts to secure freedom for innocent prisoners using DNA and other new evidence, effect policy changes to protect innocent people from being convicted in the future, and continue to train the next generation of attorneys who fight for justice.

The April 4 dinner will begin at 6:00 p.m. at Herban Feast in Sodo Park, Seattle. Tickets may be purchased through March 27th at

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