Taryn Simon – The Innocents



The Innocence Project, founded by leading civil rights attorneys Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck is one of a number of non-profit legal organisations in the United States and Canada dedicated to proving the innocence of wrongly convicted people through the use of DNA testing. It performs research and advocacy related to the causes of wrongful convictions.




In summer 2000 Taryn Simon went on assignment for The New York Times Magazine in order to photograph people who were wrongfully convicted, imprisoned and later released through help of the Innocence Project and DNA evidence. Travelling across the United States, Simon was photographing and interviewing these people at locations that were crucial in these legal cases: The scene of missidentification, the scene of arrest, the alibi location or the scene of the apparently committed crime. In this series she explores how a witness’s memory can change through exposure to composite sketches, mugshots, polaroids and line-ups. The price is the mistaken identification and finally condemnation of an innocent person. With this project Taryn Simon turns the camera around and shows the potential danger in photography’s ability to blur truth and fiction.

99887                                           LARRY MAYES
Scene of arrest, The Royal Inn, Gary, Indiana
Police found Mayes hiding beneath a mattress in this room
Served 18.5 years of an 80-year sentence for Rape, Robbery and Unlawful Deviate Conduct, 2002

99888                                      FREDERICK DAYE
Alibi location, American Legion Post 310, San Diego, California
Where 13 witnesses placed Daye at the time of the crime
Served 10 years of a life sentence for Rape, Kidnapping and Vehicle Theft, 2002
, 2002

99889                                        WILLIAM GREGORY
Wick’s Parlor, Louiville, Kentucky
With fiancée Vicki Kidwell, whom he dated prior to conviction
Gregory was pool champion in prison
Served 7 years of a 70 year sentence for Rape and Burglary, 2002
, 2002








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