Category Archives: Events

Wednesday’s Quick Clicks…

Junk Science Reigns ____ So Much for True Science in the Courtroom

We had hope, back in 2009, when the National Academy of Sciences report Forensic Science in the United States; A Path Forward was published, that there might finally be some remedy for all the junk science being used to convict innocent people. The report painted a scathing picture of the lack of true science contained in, and the invalidity of, traditional forensic disciplines; the sole exception being DNA. The report did spawn the creation of the Federal Commission on Forensic Science, which has proven, over the last three years, to be a totally toothless tiger, accomplishing essentially nothing.

Now recently, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology has issued an additional report that is highly condemning of current forensic practices. You can see the PCAST report here:  pcast_forensic_science_report_final

HOWEVER, even in light of this recent report, both the FBI and the Department of Justice have stated they have no intention of changing the way they currently address forensics.


OIP-u to Host Screenings of “The Syndrome” Across Ohio




Next week, OIP-u–The Ohio Innocence Project’s undergraduate advocate network–will be hosting screenings of the award winning documentary The Syndrome at separate events across the state of Ohio. After each screening there will be a Q&A session with investigative journalist Susan Goldsmith who produced the film and Kathy Hyatt whose story is featured in the film. Admission is free, no registration required, 1 Credit CLE for Ohio and 2 CLE credits for Kentucky. See below for screening times and locations.

About The Syndrome

Director Meryl Goldsmith teams with Award-winning investigative reporter Susan Goldsmith to uncover the origins of the myth of SBS and t
he unimaginable nightmare for those accused. This provocative film strives to shine a light on the men and women dedicating their lives to defending the prosecuted and freeing the convicted. Taking a look at what is truly happening behind the curtain, The Syndrome has been called “an eye-opening hybrid of medical drama & courtroom thriller” and prompts one to wonder – what would happen if I faced the same fate?

The Syndrome is an explosive documentary following the crusade of a group of doctors, scientists, and legal scholars who have uncovered that “shaken baby syndrome,” a child abuse theory used in hundreds of US prosecutions each year, doesn’t exist.

To view the trailer for the film click here
Event dates, times and locations:

March 28, 2016 – Cincinnati, OH University of Cincinnati College of Law College of Law, Room 114 • 5:30-8 p.m. Hosted by OIP-u University of Cincinnati Chapter

March 29, 2016 – Cincinnati, OH Xavier University Cintas Center, Conference Room 4/5 • Noon-2:30 p.m. Hosted by OIP-u Xavier University Chapter

March 29, 2016 – Dayton, OH University of Dayton Miriam Hall, Room 119 • 5:30-8 p.m. Hosted by OIP-u University of Dayton Chapter

March 30, 2016 – Columbus, OH Ohio State University Saxbe Auditorium • 6-8:30 p.m. Hosted by OIP-u Ohio State University Chapter

March 31, 2016 – Cleveland, OH John Carroll University Dolan Center, Room 202/203 • 6-8:30 p.m. Hosted by OIP-u John Carroll University Chapter

April 1, 2016 – Athens, OH Ohio University Schoonover Hall, Room 145 • 5-7:30 p.m. Hosted by OIP-u Ohio University Chapter




Cook County (Chicago) State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez Ousted in Primary

Anyone who has followed my stuff on this blog even casually knows that, because of their behavior, deeds, and actions, prosecutors are not my favorite group of people. And topping my list of least favorite prosecutors has always been Anita Alvarez, Cook County (Chicago) State’s Attorney. There are lots of reasons for this, many of which are detailed below in Chicago Tribune articles by Eric Zorn. I won’t detail my own opinions about her here so as not to become the defendant in a specious libel suit.

Most recently Alvarez came under fire for her handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting by Chicago police, and this seems to have been “the straw” that broke the voters’ backs. However, it’s really about much more than just her handling of that case. It’s about years and years of the blatant abuse of prosecutorial power.

In yesterday’s democratic primary in Cook County, challenger Kim Foxx defeated Alvarez by more than a 2-to-1 vote margin. The people have spoken.

cook vote

See the ThinkProgress story here.

And for more from Eric Zorn at the Chicago Tribune ……..

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Friday’s Quick Clicks…

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Ohio Exoneree Ricky Jackson Receives Standing Ovation at the MET

Last Saturday Ohio Exoneree Ricky Jackson participated in a TEDxMET performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Ricky spoke about his love for art, one that developed when he was a child and helped him endure 39 years of wrongful incarceration. The audience was visibly moved by Ricky’s words which were met with a standing ovation.

Limor Tomer, the General Manager of Concerts & Lectures at the Metropolitan Art Museum, had the following to say about Ricky’s performance:

Yesterday Ricky inspired, touched, moved and brought the house down at TEDxMET.  His depth, humility, intelligence, perceptiveness, heart and soul shone through and touched everyone very deeply.

Click here to view Ricky’s 12 minute segment via the Met’s website. You can view all of the TEDxMET participants here.

Friday’s Quick Clicks…

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Wednesday’s Quick Clicks…

“Toe Tag Parole” – a Documentary About Extreme Prison Sentences in the US



More Than 50,000 Americans, Consisting of Men, Women And Juveniles, Are Currently Sentenced To Life Without The Possibility Of Parole – America is the most punitive nation in the world, handing out historically harsh sentences that largely dispense with the concept of rehabilitation.

Alan and Susan Raymond (Oscar® and Emmy® winners for HBO’s “I Am a Promise:The Children of Stanton Elementary School”) explore the reality of “the other death penalty” in TOE TAG PAROLE: TO LIVE AND DIE ON YARD A, debuting MONDAY, AUG. 3 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Other HBO playdates: Aug. 3 (5:05 a.m.), 6 (4:15 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), 7 (8:00 a.m.), 9 (3:00 p.m.) 11 (3:00 p.m.) and 15 (10:00 a.m.)

            HBO2 playdates: Aug. 12 (8:00 p.m.), 20 (12:30 a.m.), 23 (9:05 a.m.) and 25 (12:45 p.m.)

Featuring exclusive, unprecedented access, TOE TAG PAROLE: TO LIVE AND DIE ON YARD A was shot entirely at California State Prison, Los Angeles County, a maximum-security facility in the Mojave Desert.

Continue reading

Monday’s Quick Clicks…

Wisconsin Innocence Project client Dan Scheidell’s 1995 conviction for sexual assault was vacated last week after DNA evidence implicated another individual…

Texas exoneree Anthony Graves who spent 12 years on death row before being exonerated in 2006, has been appointed to the board of directors for the Houston Forensic Science Center…

Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese and many others attended and spoke at the first International Innocence Conference held in Dublin, Ireland last weekend…

A Michigan man has been cleared of a 1992 rape after serving 17 years in prison for the crime…

According to LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Conviction Integrity Units are needed in order to preserve the integrity of prosecutor’s offices across the country…

A Profile in Courage – Ricky Jackson’s 39 Years in Prison

This past Wednesday, I was privileged to be present when Ricky Jackson addressed a group of people at the University of Cincinnati. In November, 2014, Ricky, along with two of his boyhood friends, the Bridgeman brothers, was exonerated of a murder he did not commit, and for which he spent 39 years in prison, including 2 1/2 years on death row.  See the previous WCB coverage of this here. I was so moved, that I felt compelled to write about my impressions.

Ricky spoke at some length about his experiences, his feelings about it all, and his perspectives and future plans.  I must say he is eloquent, articulate, intelligent, compassionate, humorous, and possessed of humility. He is the kind of person I would be honored to call a friend.

I won’t try to relate the details of his case or his experiences. For that, please check the link cited above, and the links within that article.  But know that I sat there in wonder as he spoke about all this without the slightest trace of anger, resentment, or bitterness. How a person can endure what he did, and come out of it with his attitude and perspective is just about incomprehensible to me.

I have to wonder also what this man might have accomplished during those 39 years had he not been in prison. Those 39 years were stolen not just from Ricky Jackson, but from us – all of us – because this is a man who clearly has the ability to have a positive influence on other people and on society as a whole. I’m sure Ricky has very definite knowledge of what this has cost him, but we’ll never know what this has cost us. And on top of that . . . the real murderers are still out there.

And of course, this begs the question – how many more Ricky Jackson’s are there still in prison in this country?


Innocence Network Conference

Sorry for the lack of posting this week.  We have all been down at the Innocence Network conference in Orlando.  Here is the schedule and other details:

Wednesday’s Quick Clicks…

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Thursday’s Quick Clicks…

Center for Prosecutor Integrity – Innocence Summit – June 12, 13

This from Ed Bartlett, Director of the Center for Prosecutor Integrity:

I’m pleased to report that we have now finalized the program for the 2015 Innocence Summit, to be held June 12-13 at the National Airport — Crowne Plaza in Arlington, Virginia. The Summit will feature an All-Star line-up of forward-thinking prosecutors, Innocence Network leaders, civil rights advocates, researchers, journalists, and others. These are some of the highlights:

  • On June 12, the Summit will lead off with a panel of four prosecutors who have challenged conventional wisdom and forged new models of prosecutorial practice.
  • The Friday evening banquet speaker will be former United States Attorney Joseph diGenova, a man who never hesitates to speak his mind!

On Saturday, I’m personally looking forward to Mara Leveritt’s presentation, “Death Threats and More: A Reporter Shares True-Life Experiences Investigating Criminal Justice Abuses.”

And I haven’t said anything about the impressive range of workshops…and networking opportunities….and more.

Check it out:  Looking forward to seeing you June 12-13!

See the Summit schedule here.

Thursday’s Quick Clicks…

Tuesday’s Quick Clicks…