Why I Give: Steve Hodel
Retired Homicide Detective, Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles, CA

Hodel During more than two decades as a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, I personally conducted over 300 murder investigations. After retiring, I became a licensed private investigator and criminal defense investigator. I have seen firsthand that our criminal justice system works most of the time — but not always. Wrongful prosecutions occur. Innocent people are convicted.

Once an individual is arrested and logged into the system, a lot can go wrong. An overzealous detective or prosecutor confronted with public pressure will often pursue a weak or borderline case when cooler heads should prevail and the case be continued for further investigation. If a criminal complaint is formally charged, there is rarely any turning back. Professional reputations are on the line, and in the more serious cases of rape, armed robbery and murder — politics get in the way.

That is why I support the Innocence Project. They have become the court of last resort. Thanks to the Innocence Project’s tireless efforts, more convictions are overturned each year and more actual innocents go free. Many of these individuals have been imprisoned for decades, some of them on death row for crimes they did not commit.

I urge you to join me in supporting the Innocence Project’s cause — which is simply to ensure due process and prevent wrongful convictions.


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