On May 18, at the Defenders of the Innocent Awards Reception, Larry Marshall made the following remarks (excerpted from his longer speech):
The Circle of Empathy We Choose to Inhabit
by Larry Marshall
Defenders of the Innocent Awards Reception, May 18, 2009
The challenge we all face is how to define our own circle. We can make it a very small circle, or we can make it a much wider circle.
We are here tonight because all of you in this room, recognize that this is your issue, that these are your brothers, that these are your sisters. You have worked steadfastly to try to bring to the public’s attention these cases both because of what these individual cases represent, but also because of the energy and the leverage that each of these cases presents for meaningful reform of the system.
We have seen how each of these cases ends up creating a momentum, a momentum that brings public attention to these issues and generates some real reform.
We have a choice. If that choice is to draw our circle of empathy to include all of our brothers and sisters, and then to scream out with as much passion and intensity, and to sacrifice as much as we would for our very brothers and sisters, to do that is as godly as we on earth can ever come.
The Work of the Innocence Project: Holy Work
So I beg of all of you, as you think in these very tough times how to participate in different endeavors of giving and supporting, to recognize that the work that this Project is doing for those who are so far on the outskirts of that natural circle of empathy, that this work is in fact holy work and by doing it, we are reaching out to make the world so much purer, so much more full of love and care and dedication.