This June, two Pennsylvania Innocence Project clients were released in just two days! William Johnson and LaFaye Gaskins are the 26th and 27th clients of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project to be released from prison. Together, they lost more than 50 years of their lives to wrongful conviction, incarcerated for crimes they did not commit.
On Thursday, June 8, 2023, William Johnson's charges were vacated and he walked free from the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Rockview. The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office cited "gross prosecutorial misconduct" and "egregious" constitutional violations in moving to dismiss William's charges. William was welcomed home by his large family, who have stood with him since his ordeal began in 2005, and his legal team, including Project attorneys Nilam Sanghvi and Ryan Becker, and David Rudovsky, from Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing, Feinberg & Lin LLP. One of the Project's co-founders, David has been working with William for more than a decade, helping him to pursue freedom in the face of repeated denials.
On Friday, June 9, 2023, LaFaye Gaskins walked out of the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy - a place he once thought that he would never leave. LaFaye was welcomed home by his devoted mother, his daughter Onia, who was born just before he went to prison, and his legal team, including Project attorneys Nilam Sanghvi and Amelia Maxfield, former Project investigator John Butler, and attorneys from Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, Ralph Wellington, Edward Sholinsky, and Alexandra Fahringer. Alex has been working on LaFaye's case since her law school internship with the Project.