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Daily interviews with a local focus airing at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Northland Morning.

Community Connection: Great North Innocence Project

An empty jailcell from the outside looking in through the bars
Ryan O'Meilia [via Flickr]

For over two decades, the Great North Innocence Project has been working to overturn wrongful convictions. The efforts have led to innocent people being freed across Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Jack Reuler works as an advocate for the wrongfully convicted. The rise of overturned convictions can be attributed in part to scientific advancements and DNA evidence. However, eyewitness testimony, false confessions, and ineffective defense are few of the hurdles that make overturning a conviction difficult. Race is a looming factor as well. "With race, 52% of all exonerations in this innocence movement have been, not just people who are not white, but have been specifically African American," says Reuler.

The work is not only focused on righting wrongs, but also on preventing injustice in the future. "A lot of what Great North does is outreach and education," says Reuler. This education includes creating connections and conversation with communities, attorneys, police departments, policymakers and more.

More information, statistics and stories can be found on the Great North Innocence Project website.

You can hear Community Connection every Tuesday and Thursday at 8am on Northland Morning. This edition of Community Connection is made possible in part by Lakewalk Surgery Center.

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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