SARASOTA COUNTY – Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources will host a two-part program that highlights the work of the Innocence Project of Florida, a nonprofit organization that helps innocent prisoners in Florida obtain their freedom and rebuild their lives.
Part 1, to be held 6:30-7:30 p.m. March 6 at North Sarasota Library, will feature a presentation by board member Harriet Hendel, who will share her experience working with the Innocence Project of Florida and highlight the stories of exonerees. Hendel is a retired educator and part-time Sarasota resident.
Part 2, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. March 13, also at North Sarasota Library, will feature Derrick Williams, an exonoree freed with the help of the Innocence Project of Florida. Williams, of Palmetto, served 18 years in prison before being freed in 2011 when post-conviction DNA testing proved he was innocent of the crimes for which he had been wrongfully convicted. Williams will share his story in a conversation with Hendel, and the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions afterward.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to host this important community conversation about our criminal justice system and the Innocence Project of Florida’s local connections,” said Mary Brown, manager at North Sarasota Library.
North Sarasota Library is located at 2801 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota. No registration is required, and light refreshments will be served at both programs. The library will also host informational displays about other exonorees associated with the Innocence Project of Florida.
For more information about the programs, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit www.scgov.net.
Read more about the Innocence Project of Florida and Williams’ story at floridainnocence.org.