By Carol McCracken
No sooner had the photography show ended Tuesday afternoon at the North Star Café when Don Verger and his friend, Lois, were setting up another photography show at the Hilltop Cafe at the top of the Hill. What makes these two shows of special interest is that 100% of the entire proceeds are being donated to the Innocence Project.
The Innocence Project was founded in New York City by attorney Barry C. Scheck in 1992. It’s a non-profit organization that is dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing. Most of its clients are poor, forgotten and have used up all legal avenues for relief. It utilizes DNA testing to provide scientific proof that our legal system far too often convicts and sentences innocent people. “I would have thought that there would be less than a handful of individuals wrongly incarcerated. But my reading about the Innocence Project tells me that it has exonerated 230 people using DNA testing,” said Don yesterday afternoon as he took a break from hanging up this show at the Hilltop Cafe.
Don has first-hand experience with this. On December 31, last year, he was arrested in the Old Port for robbery of a hair salon in which he had never been inside of. He was handcuffed and taken to jail immediately. His court arraignment date was set for February 26. However, prior to that court date, his attorney, Peter DeTroy had the case against Don dismissed – it was mistaken identity. He was released from jail after spending two nights and three days there – when he posted bail. Since then Don has devoted his energy to setting-up photography shows from which the total proceeds go to the Innocence Project.
This show is a departure from his usual stunning landscape photos to the faces of innocent people all over the world – from Munjoy Hill to Pohnpei, Macro Nesia. The current show runs from April 1 until April 30th. There will be an artist reception this Friday, April 3rd from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Hilltop Cafe. The Cafe will donate coffee and tea.
Verger is the founder and president emertus of the Children’s Discovery Museum and the Science Discovery Museum, both in Massachusetts.
If more information, please visit www.innocenceproject.org and www.donaldverger.com The phone number for the Innocence Project is (212) 364-5340 in New York City.