Founded in 2008 and based at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana, MTIP is a statewide nonprofit organization with two core missions:
- Exonerate the innocent
- Prevent wrongful convictions
Why We Work
Our criminal justice system incarcerates innocent people. Since 1989, there have been:
- 2,500 exonerations in the United States.
- Those individuals lost over 22,000 years of their lives for crimes they did not commit.
Montana’s criminal justice system is not immune to these problems. Since 1997, 14 people have been exonerated in Montana. Our six exonerated clients alone spent nearly 100 years combined in prison for crimes they did not commit.
MTIP is the only Montana organization working to address and prevent these injustices.
How we Work
MTIP works in the courts, in our communities, and before policymakers to exonerate the innocent and prevent wrongful convictions.
In the Courts
We provide pro bono legal representation to exonerate people with claims of innocence. People in Montana have been wrongly convicted because of prosecutorial abuse, false testimony, ineffective assistance of counsel, false confessions, junk science, and mistaken identification, and we investigate and litigate all of these issues.
In our Communities
We build diverse coalitions that bring together advocates and community members from across the ideological spectrum in support of building a just, fair, and accurate justice system in Montana. We also train and educate judges, attorneys, law enforcement, and other Montanans across the state about wrongful convictions, Brady violations, mistaken eyewitness evidence, DNA evidence, and other innocence issues.
We advocate for laws and policies that will build a just, fair, and accurate justice system in Montana. The six exonerees we served provide irrefutable proof that Montana has convicted and incarcerated innocent people. Through our legal work, we have identified systemic flaws that undermine the integrity of Montana’s criminal justice system. We work with lawmakers, coalition partners, and grassroots advocates to build a new justice system – a system where wrongful convictions no longer occur.
MTIP is a member of the Innocence Network, an affiliation of 68 organizations from all over the world dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted, and working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions. To learn more about the Innocence Network, visit http://www.innocencenetwork.org.