Award Honorees

Our Award Honorees

Each year, the Pennsylvania Innocence Project presents its Hero of Justice Award to an individual who has shown sustained commitment to achieving criminal justice for all. Because the work we do involves instances where the criminal justice system has catastrophically failed, we recognize those who strive to improve the system to meet our ultimate goal: that no innocent person be arrested or convicted of a crime they did not commit.

2021

Howard Scher
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC


2019

In 2019, all of our clients who had been exonerated by the time of the ceremony received the Hero of Justice award.


2018

Stewart Greenleaf
Pennsylvania State Senator
 

2017

Cozen O’Connor, P.C.
 

2016

Kenneth Thompson
District Attorney of Brooklyn, NY
 

2015

Barbara Haldeman and Charles Haldeman
 

2014

Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey
Philadelphia Police Department
 

2013

Denise Foderaro
The Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School
 

2012

John Thompson
Pepper & Hamilton LLP
 

2011

Ellen McBennet
Defender Association of Philadelphia 

Karl Schwartz
Defender Association of Philadelphia

Gordon Cooney
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Michael Banks
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Maureen Rowley Award

Maureen Rowley served as the Chief Defender for the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Throughout her career, she fought tirelessly for all indigent defendants and to give voice to the voiceless. On her passing, friends said, “Maureen Rowley’s career in law has been based upon an unyielding and successful commitment to extend the highest quality representation to those who are too often ignored by the legal profession, the abused, the indigent criminal defendant and the outcast.” In her honor, the Pennsylvania Innocence Project recognizes an attorney who has similarly devoted their career to pursuing justice.

2021

Patricia Cummings
The Philadelphia DA's Office Conviction Integrity Unit

2019

Marissa Boyers Bluestine


2018

Richard C. Glazer
 

2017

Rabia Chaudry
Host, Undisclosed Podcast
 

2016

Bradley Bridge
Defender Association of Philadelphia
 

2015

Chief Defender Ellen Greenlee
Defender Association of Philadelphia
 

2014

Dean JoAnne Epps
Temple University Beasley School of Law
 

2013

Charlotte Whitmore
Former PAIP staff attorney

Edward D. Ohlbaum Volunteer Award

Eddie Ohlbaum was a beloved professor and legal advocate, and an early supporter of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project’s work. An expert on evidence, an advocate for the American justice system, a defender of children’s rights and the wrongly convicted, Eddie’s zeal for justice and fairness never dimmed. We honor Eddie with an award recognizing outstanding work by our Project pro bono partners because of Eddie’s commitment to pro bono service, and his belief that giving back to his community was part of being a lawyer.

2021

Nathan J. Andrisani
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP


2018

John Summers, Dina Hardy Grove, Maureen Smith Lawrence
 

2017

David Richman and David Rudovsky
 

2016

Katelyn Matscherz
Jones Day

Jeffrey Bresch
Jones Day
 

2015

Joshua Snyder
Boni & Zack LLC
 

2014

James Figorski
Dechert LLP