Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Innocence Project Wrongful Conviction Workshop

For students planning course selections for the fall and beyond or for anyone thinking of attending law school — here is something worth checking out.
Wrongful Conviction Workshops.
Innocence Project

The Innocence Project at
Osgoode Hall Law School York University involves work on cases of suspected wrongful conviction. Students will be working on files under the direction of Professor Dianne Martin with supervision from local lawyers in addition to studying areas of law germane to the problem of wrongful conviction.

The Innocence Project will involve work over two terms. Students will work on a directed research project of three credit hours in the first term and a clinical program of six credit hours in the second term for a total of nine credits. Students will be selected on the basis of an interview conducted with the two Directors of the Project

The heart of the program is supervised clinical work on actual cases of possible wrongful conviction which have been pre-screened by the Directors of the Project and by the
Association in Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted (AIDWYC). Beyond the investigative work which must be undertaken on any file, students will be required to conduct an exhaustive review of the record in the trial and appellate courts, and may be involved in obtaining new forensic or DNA testing. Students will also be responsible for a major paper on an issue relevant to the problem of wrongful conviction.

Throughout the two terms, students will be required to attend regular workshops on issues relevant to the problem of wrongful conviction. In terms of the major paper and the workshops, students in the Innocence Project will study the following subjects:
Forensic Testing
The Law of Interrogation
The Law and the Flaws of Eyewitness Identification
Analyzing Circumstantial Evidence
Professional Conduct: Crown Disclosure, Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
Exculpatory Evidence and Evidence of "Other Suspects"
Overreaching Prosecution (including evaluation of opening and closing addresses to the jury)
Change of Venue and Challenge for Cause
Jail House Confession and the Use of Informants

Clinical work will be evaluated on the basis of a pass/fail grade and a detailed evaluation prepared by the Directors of the Project. The major paper will receive a letter grade.

A Book Recommendation for all Wrongful Conviction Workshops."Journey Toward Justice" author,Dennis Fritz

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