A new kind of team

Guilty Plea Problem Campaign

The national justice reform campaign to fix wrongful convictions


Innocence Project partnered with Madeo to create a timely campaign on the ‘Guilty Plea Problem’, helping the public learn the issues, watch important and relevant stories, and get access to facts that advocate for a different approach to proving guilt. The #GuiltyPleaProblem campaign has since been viewed and shared by thousands of Americans.

Producing the campaign entailed content strategy, digital strategy, copywriting, web design, graphic design, web development, and social media roll out. Over half a million people engaged on campaign microsite and social media; on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter. Tens of thousands of people learned about the campaign through a crafted Email series, and with more discovering the campaign every day through produced blog posts and shared articles.

The campaign microsite, designed & built by Madeo, drew all audiences to one platform with powerful stories. The microsite features videos of innocent people forced into pleading guilty. It showcases the facts, in numbers and through referenced research, which show us how critically broken our system is today — and how it can be improved.


Closer look

Here’s the main problem and why Innocence Project and Madeo wanted to do something about it: The American justice system relies too heavily on forcing people to plead guilty, even when they are innocent. 95% of felony convictions in the U.S. are obtained through guilty pleas. When most people learn that a person pleaded guilty to a crime, they believe the person must have done it. Yet, the number of wrongful convictions exposed over the last 25 years shows us a different reality. Innocent people in the U.S. are pleading guilty to crimes they did not commit. It happens to countless people each year, and there’s no telling how many are behind bars as a result. Speaking up, proposing science-backed change, these are ways we can start energizing the public and lawmakers into action.

This campaign is part of a longstanding partnership, since 2015, between Madeo and Innocence Project. Madeo designers, web developers, and strategists work on a daily basis in collaboration with the organization’s various teams: communications, fundraising, events, and policy. As an integrated multidisciplinary team, the Madeo team works more like an in-house team and a lot less like a typical creative agency, allowing Innocence Project to do so much more. Some of the launched projects include the redesign of the organization’s website in 2015, several fundraising campaigns each year, a 25th anniversary campaign, a new platform for long form storytelling, the first comprehensive rebrand of the organization in 2019, and much more.


Interested in learning more? Get in touch with us.