Monday, September 26, 2011

Wisconsin Innocence Project Moves Forward

Two major events have recently happened at the University of Wisconsin's Law School Innocence Project. While most coverage has concerned the recent financial grant, this past summer, the directors, Keith Findley and John Pray reached out to the community and formed a Board of Advisories. The group includes former and present prosecutors as well as a few well known defense lawyers. The press release is reprinted here:

Veteran Prosecutors, Police, and Defense Attorneys to Join

Wisconsin Innocence Project’s New Advisory Board

New Board Created to Help Steer the Work of the Wisconsin Innocence Project

In Advocating for Wrongly Convicted Individuals and Recommending Reforms to

Improve the Reliability of the Criminal Justice System

CONTACT: Keith Findley, 608-262-4763, 608-335-4544,

(Madison, July 12, 2011) – The Wisconsin Innocence Project, a legal education and advocacy project at the University of Wisconsin Law School’s Frank J. Remington Center, announced today the formation of a new Advisory Board. The new Board will include such prominent and respected experts as retired Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann and retired Assistant District Attorney Jon Reddin, Retired Dane County prosecutors Judy Schwaemle and John Norsetter, Manitowoc County Assistant District Attorney Michael Griesbach, Port Washington Police Chief Richard Thomas, Madison Police Department Captain Vic Wahl, Marquette Law Professor Daniel Blinka, State Public Defender Kelli Thompson, and attorneys Stephen Hurley, Dean Strang, Stephen Glynn, Stephen Meyer, Gordon “Chip” Davenport, III, James Friedman, and Rebecca Mason, and former client and exoneree (and now attorney) Christopher Ochoa. Additional members may yet join the Board as well.

The Board is being created to advise the Wisconsin Innocence Project on case selection criteria, evaluating difficult cases, strengthening advocacy in individual meritorious cases, and evaluating and promoting policy initiatives to improve the criminal justice system.

University of Wisconsin Clinical Law Professor and Wisconsin Innocence Project Co-Director Keith Findley explained, “The work we do advocating for the wrongly convicted can have profound impact on the lives of the wrongly convicted, victims of crime, and the functioning of the criminal justice system. To help us chart an effective and appropriate course, we thought it best to bring in experienced and respected actors from across the criminal justice system to ensure full and balanced consideration of the issues we confront.”