The annual fundraiser for Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) to celebrate freedom and gather for justice drew 300 patrons to The Cannery on June 3. Honorees were Gregory A. Pechukas, “because justice came from the Per Curiam;” Aleem Maqbool; Ashley Semier; Pete Murtaugh/BBC News “for telling a story no one else would tell;” and JusticeAid “for raising money, raising hopes and raising a ruckus.”

At The Cannery, food was catered by Jacques-Imo’s, Cafe Degas and Shake Sugary, including lamb chop lollipops and shrimp Creole. Beverages were provided by Pal’s Lounge, Juan’s Flying Burrito, Gordon Biersch, the Rusty Nail, Bayou Beer Garden and Bayou Wine Garden. Centerpieces were loaned by Charvet’s Garden Center, and musical entertainment was provided by the Black Chorale Group.

The event featured 90 silent auction items, including framed photographs of Mardi Gras Indians by Robert Warren, a stay at the new Ace Hotel and a one-of-a-kind decorative banjo by Ani DiFranco.

IPNO is a nonprofit law office with full time staff attorneys working cases from start to finish, supported by investigators, paralegals and volunteers, offered pro bono to their clients.

In memoriam, 558 candles were lit, one for each year IPNO’s innocent clients spent wrongly incarcerated.


What: “15th Anniversary Gala,” benefiting Innocence Project New Orleans
When: Friday, June 3
Where: The Cannery