Most innocence projects use DNA to drive the exoneration of people convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. Well, what can we say? Some people like to do things the hard way. When Michigan Law’s Innocence Clinic launched in 2009, its founders deliberately sought cases without cut-and-dried DNA evidence exonerating those they sought to help. They looked for prosecutions of provably innocent people that were undergirded by dubious or outdated science—as in some shaken baby syndrome cases or arson convictions—or by tenuous witness identifications or recanted testimony.

Since then they’ve freed more than a dozen people, three of whom had been wrongfully imprisoned for more than 25 years each. Altogether those freed by our Innocence Clinic served more than 196 years behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit. It’s time well spent serving those who shouldn’t be serving time.