The Exoneration Project

Clinical Teachers

Jon Loevy
Russell Ainsworth
Gayle Horn
Tara Thompson

Project Goals

The criminal justice system is not perfect. Innocent people are sometimes convicted of crimes they did not commit. When that occurs, the consequences for the lives of the wrongfully convicted and their families are truly devastating. By investigating and petitioning courts to reverse wrongful convictions, our Exoneration Project is dedicated to restoring justice. Our project represents innocent individuals who have been wrongly convicted. Students working in our project assist in every aspect of representation including selecting cases, investigating and developing evidence, as well as in-court litigation of post-conviction petitions, petitions for DNA testing, and federal habeas petitions. Students work closely with our clients and have an opportunity to develop their oral and written advocacy skills by preparing written pleadings and by appearing before trial courts and appellate court panels. Through participation in our project students will explore issues of error and inequality in the criminal justice system, including police and prosecutorial misconduct, the use of faulty scientific evidence, coerced confessions, unreliable eyewitness testimony, and ineffective assistance of counsel. The Exoneration Project is an intensive, rigorous experience designed for students who are committed to providing the best possible representation to deserving clients. Second-year students wishing to enroll in the Project are encouraged to take Evidence in their second year. Third-year students are required to complete, prior to their third year, Evidence and the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop. Students are also encouraged but not required to take Pretrial Advocacy, Criminal Procedure I, and Criminal Procedure II. Students selected for this project will receive credit for the work they do in accordance with the credit rules for all other clinical programs.

Contact: (773) 702-9611