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the VOICES no one heard

The TRUTH no one believed

THe freedom no one protected

 THe justice no one received

the reason
we fight for justice

Injustice can occur at the hands of a few:

A sole misidentification or false testimony, the misconduct of a few officials, or the inadequate defense of a single attorney.


Protecting justice takes the efforts of many: Volunteer attorneys, investigators, students, families, and entire communities.


Join the effort. Give the gift of justice.

The Hawai'i Innocence Project accepts applications from anyone who has been convicted of a crime occurring in Hawai'i AND is factually innocent of that crime.


If you believe that you were wrongfully convicted and are factually innocent, please complete our application for assistance. Please be as thorough as possible so that we may respond to your inquiry quickly and efficiently. Click the link below to access our application and more detailed instructions. 


Our Fight For Freedom

The Hawai'i Innocence Project, founded in 2005 at the William S. Richardson School of Law, fights for the freedom of those who have been wrongfully convicted and advocates for the prevention of future injustice. We are a member of the Innocence Network, a collection of organizations across the nation who have joined the movement for justice and freedom. 


years of
freedom lost


Hawai'i Innocence
Project clients

days spent incarcerated
by Exonerated Hawai'i Innocence
Project Clients

A Message from Co-Director

Kenneth Lawson

When I joined the Hawai'i Innocence Project  years ago, I knew it would not be the typical nine to five job. The Hawai'i Innocence Project fights for those who cannot fight for themselves - that is a noble calling - and in the legal arena fighting for those who are actually innocent and wrongfully convicted has been referred to as "doing God's work". That's how I like to think about the work we do. In fact, this is the type of law most students dream of doing when they decide to go to law school.  In this kind of work, you have to truly care about the individuals you represent, not just from a professional perspective as legal cases, but from a personal perspective as actual people. 

But the work the Hawai'i Innocence Project does is not for our clients alone. When someone is wrongfully convicted, the injustice is manifold.  The parents, families, and communities are torn apart when an innocent person is sent to prison. Valuable community and taxpayer resources are wasted not only in convicting the innocent but in keeping that innocent person in prison. When an innocent person in prison it also means a guilty person walks free, so ultimately, it means that victims of crime and their families have never received the justice they deserve. 


I am proud of the work and the accomplishments of the Hawai'i Innocence Project, but there is still more work to be done by each and every one of us. I encourage you to read the stories of our clients, learn something new about the legal issues that cause wrongful convictions and if you are able to, donate to our project so we can bring these innocent clients home.  Thank you for joining the Hawai'i Innocence Project in the fight to protect freedom and justice— for our clients, for the victims, and for our community at large.


Ken Lawson

Co-Director, Hawai'i Innocence Project

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