Loyola Project for the Innocent Client Finds New Life Helping Other Exonerees
When Loyola Project for the Innocent (LPI) client Obie Anthony walked out of prison seven years ago, he couldn’t imagine the twists and turns his life would take as a free man.
Almost immediately upon release, Anthony found his calling as an advocate for other exonerees struggling to rebuild their lives just as he had. He created the advocacy organization Exonerated Nation, which provides exonerees with resources like temporary housing, leadership training and a support network to help them return home. And it was all inspired by his work with Loyola students and attorneys.
“The LPI changed my life,” he explained. “I refuse to be home now when I have the freedom and the power to assist other former inmates like me.”
Anthony knows as well as anyone the challenges of transitioning out of incarceration. He spent 17 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit. The LPI, with the help of the Northern California Innocence Project, secured his release in 2011 by showing a lack of physical evidence and debunking faulty eyewitness testimony.
“It felt like I was drowning,” said Anthony following his release. “But individuals who stood for justice got involved with my case. They discovered the truth and procured my freedom.”
Since his release, Anthony has been a key advocate for those seeking justice. He played an instrumental role in the passage of California Assembly Bill No. 672, known as “Obie’s Law,” which requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to assist exonerees with transitional services like housing assistance, job training and mental health services.
“I’m doing the work I do now because of LPI,” said Anthony. “They keep me motived and inspired and give me a reason to do what I’m doing.”
The LPI and Exonerated Nation hosted a fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 20 from 2-5 p.m. to launch the new book “Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction,” which documents the travails of the wrongfully convicted and was written by former LPI Legal Director Lara Bazelon. Learn more.