Jennifer Thompson is the Founder and President of Healing Justice Project, which aims to address the personal toll of wrongful convictions on all involved. Jennifer founded Healing Justice Project based on her experience with a failed criminal justice process that sent an innocent person to prison and left the true perpetrator free to commit additional crimes. Healing Justice Project facilitates restorative justice and reconciliation in cases involving exonerations; organizes volunteer service providers to provide direct support and assistance in the aftermath of exonerations; and creates opportunities to unify the diverse voices of those affected by wrongful convictions.
Jennifer is a nationally-known advocate for criminal justice reform, focusing on the human impact of wrongful convictions, the fallibility of eyewitness testimony, the need to combat sexual violence, and the healing power of forgiveness. She has successfully lobbied state legislators to change compensation laws for the wrongly convicted, to revise police eyewitness line-up procedures, and for many other causes. She was a member of the North Carolina Actual Innocence Commission, worked with the North Carolina legislature to pass the Racial Justice Act, and worked in the legislatures of New Jersey, Ohio, Connecticut, and Montana as they have considered judicial reforms. She has appeared on Oprah, Sixty Minutes, The Today Show, Good Morning America, 20/20, The View, NPR, Diane Rhems, PBS Frontline, A&E American Justice, Sundance Winner After Innocence, People magazine, RedBook, Newsweek, and in other media outlets. Jennifer’s Op-Eds have appeared in The New York Times, the Durham Herald-Sun, the Tallahassee Democrat, Injustice Watch and Slate. Her writings have appeared in NPR’s “This I Believe,” the Albany Law Journal, and in other outlets. Jennifer served six years on North Carolina’s Innocence Inquiry Commission.
Ronald Cotton lives with his wife and daughter in North Carolina. He has spoken at various universities including Washington and Lee University, Universitiy of Connecticut, Georgetown Law School, UNC Law School, and the Community March for Justice for Troy Anthony Davis in Savannah, GA. With Jennifer, he speaks to various audiences about eyewitness identification, racial justice, and forgiveness.
Erin Torneo lives with her husband and three sons in California. She was a 2007 New York Foundation for the Arts Nonfiction Fellow. In 2010, she received the American Society of Journalists and Authors' Arlene Eisenberg Writing Award for her work on Picking Cotton.
Ronald, Jennifer, and Erin received the 2008 Soros Justice Media Fellowship for this book.