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September 2015

Justice Revisited: Sept. 25 Symposium Aims to Highlight Prosecutor Programs to Free Wrongfully Convicted

A groundbreaking symposium offered by the Northern California Innocence Project aims to share best practices and improve the environment for prosecutor-initiated "conviction review units," which seek to ensure freedom for the wrongfully imprisoned.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 2, 2015 — From Los Angeles to Dallas to Brooklyn, prosecutors in more than 15 jurisdictions across America have taken the laudable step of creating “conviction review programs” to ensure that the right person was convicted for the crime charged and to help exonerate the innocent.

A groundbreaking symposium offered by the Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP) at Santa Clara University School of Law aims to take these efforts to the next level: sharing best practices for expediting reviews and exonerations; discussing the need for even more such programs; and dissecting what works well and what could work better in programs underway today.

The free symposium, In the Interest of Justice: Conviction Review Programs, will be held on Friday, Sept. 25 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Santa Clara University’s Paul L. Locatelli, S.J. Student Activity Center, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Calif. A full agenda is available at  Registration is required.

“We applaud the counties that have conviction review programs in place,” said Lucy Salcido Carter, policy director for NCIP, “ and we hope these conversations encourage more California jurisdictions to undertake effective conviction review.”

Speakers at the all-day event will include numerous district attorneys involved in such programs; judges; defense lawyers; researchers; and other advocates for conviction review.

The executive director of the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at University of Pennsylvania Law School, John Hollway, will share observations from a research survey conducted on conviction review units nationwide.

District attorneys and deputy or assistant district attorney paneliss will include:
David Angel (Santa Clara County, Calif.); Mark Hale (Kings County, N.Y.); Catherine Kobal (Alameda County, Calif.);Kenneth Lynch (Los Angeles County, Calif.); Brent Thomas Neck (San Diego County, Calif.); Michael G. Nerheim(Lake County, Ill.); Jeff Rosen (Santa Clara County, Calif.); Karyn Sinunu-Towery (retired, Santa Clara County, Calif.); and Russell Wilson II (former, Dallas County, Texas).
The keynote speaker will be Hon. Alex Kozinski, judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.  The emcee for the event is Hon. LaDoris Cordell, judge (retired), Santa Clara County Superior Court.
Public defenders, defense attorneys and innocence-advocate panelists will include:
Jeff Adachi (San Francisco County, Calif.); Chris Fialko (Rudolf Widenhouse & Fialko); Laurie Levenson (Loyola Law School); Chris Mumma (North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence);  Linda Starr (NCIP); Gregory Taylor (exoneree); and Rick Walker (exoneree).
North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission members and staff panelists will include:
Hon. Arnold O. Jones (commission chair); Jaime T. Lau (former); and Hon. C. Branson Vickory III (former).
Reporters interested in attending may contact Deborah Lohse of SCU’s Media Relations office for press credentials or interview requests at

About the Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara University School of Law
The Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP) is a pro bono legal clinical program where law students, attorneys, pro bono counsel, and volunteers work to free wrongfully convicted prisoners.  NCIP exonerates the innocent, promotes a fair, effective and compassionate justice system, and protects the rights of the innocent. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | | 408-554-5121
Audrey Redmond | NCIP | | 408-551-1849

Press Release
conviction review,ncip