Greenpoint Gazette
Jeff Mann
L-R Bill Bastuk, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, State Senator Bill Perkins

Lentol Honored by Wrongful Convictions Group

BY Jeff Mann

On Thursday, October 25th, wrongful convictions group, It Could Happen to YOU celebrated its first annual Servants of Justice Awards Banquet, honoring Assemblyman Joe Lentol, David Kaczynski and L. Nathan Hare.

Lentol, the organization’s first Public Servant honoree, received his award for discovery legislation he introduced, which It Could Happen to YOU founder Bill Bastuk called “the most progressive in the country.” Kaczynski and Hare were honored for their efforts to overturn the death penalty.

“I have long advocated for legislative solutions to ensure that the criminal justice system does not wrongfully convict individuals,” Lentol said.

Bastuk founded It Could Happen to YOU following the dismissal of charges against him stemming from a false rape accusation. During his more than one year trial, he learned that despite discovery rules, it was nearly impossible to obtain exculpatory evidence from prosecutors.

The experience inspired Bastuk to turn the experience into a positive, and he started It Could Happen to YOU to “spread awareness about the rate of wrongful convictions and malicious prosecutions in the American Justice System.”

Learn more about what It Could Happen to YOU is doing in the fight for fair and equal justice for all at

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