An Innocence Commission Task Team was formed by the MACUCC Board of Directors in 2009, and confirmed by the MACUCC Annual Meeting in 2010. The concept of a task team to promote a Commonwealth innocence commission was presented to the Massachusetts Conference, UCC, as early as 2007.
The task team was composed of church members meeting monthly. As we became more aware that innocent persons were being convicted and serving time in Massachusetts, we became dedicated to making changes in the Commonwealth criminal justice system to make it less likely that the wrong person is convicted.
In 2016, we changed our name to the Actual Justice Task Team. This change did not represent any reduced commitment to the problem of innocent convictions, but did represent a change in strategy, and an understanding that the problem of innocent convictions is related to other issues in the criminal justice system. We have developed this mission statement:
We are not naive as to the difficulty of moving laws through the legislature. However, we believe that with the support of the members of our churches all over the Commonwealth, and by working in coalition with other like-minded groups, our goals can be achieved.
We would warmly welcome anyone to the task team who believes they would like to be a part of this work. And we need to call on many more of you to contact your representatives in government at an appropriate time. Together, we can create a fairer justice system and therefore a better society. We would love to hear from you.
Grace and Peace, Rev.Jonathan C. Tetherly, Chair, Actual Justice Task Team
Want more information? Contact Jonathan Tetherly here.