On May 9, 2016, after spending 22 years in prison for being accused and convicted of killing a 19-year-old woman, Malcolm Scott and De’Marchoe Carpenter were exonerated for a crime that they did not commit. Scott and Carpenter wrote and requested help for 22 years, until finally someone heard their plea. Years after standing by their innocence, the Oklahoma chapter of the Innocence Project took up their cause.
According to the Oklahoma Innocence Project (OKIP), Scott and Carpenter are not the only likely innocent people who have been put into the prison system. The OKIP website says that Oklahoma ranks in the top 10 in the nation in terms of the number of known wrongful convictions of innocent people.
The international Innocence Project’s mission is to free what they classify as “the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated, and to bring reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.” Founded in 1992, the U.S.-based non-profit has led to the freeing of 344 wrongfully convicted people, including 20 who spent time on death row.
The New York Times best-selling author John Grisham came to Oklahoma City in 2009 to help raise funds and awareness for the Oklahoma chapter of the Innocence Project. Grisham helped draw a national audience to the Innocence Project when he released his book "The Innocent Man". The book tells the true story Ron Williamson of Ada, Oklahoma., who was wrongly convicted in 1988 of rape and murder and was sentenced to death. After being on death row for 11 years, Williamson was exonerated by DNA evidence and other material presented by the Innocence Project.