The Innocence Project model—the free legal clinic that utilizes DNA analysis of crime scene evidence to prove the innocence of the wrongfully convicted—has now been widely duplicated across the United States and the globe. While most Innocence Project clinics are attached to law schools and rely upon selected law students who earn academic credit and hands-on legal experience in challenging post-conviction efforts, wrongful conviction per se is not an emphasis in the curriculum of most law schools. It’s therefore troubling but not surprising that many lawyers are unfamiliar with the primary causes of wrongful conviction, the implications wrongful convictions have had on the reliability of important forms of evidence such as eyewitness testimony and confessions, and recommended reforms that can reduce conviction error.
After all, the lessons of DNA are relatively recent. Just two decades ago most Continue reading