Actual Innocence Clinic

What We Do

Students in the Actual Innocence Clinic investigate allegations of wrongful conviction based on claims of innocence, suggest strategies for relief on those cases, and study the root causes leading to wrongful convictions. In addition to working on individual cases, students research criminal justice practices, and when appropriate, recommend systemic changes and reforms.

Why We Selected These Clinics

When an innocent person is imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, society suffers. The guilty party remains free to prey on new victims, while the wrong person is imprisoned and their family is torn asunder, sometimes unable to sustain itself without government assistance.

This clinic exposes students to cutting edge issues such as the DNA revolution, and the questions raised by DNA exonerations about criminal justice practices that contributed to a wrongful conviction. Students explore current practices and limitations, while suggesting systemic change when appropriate. Those activities prepare them to be leaders in a world that will be forever impacted by advances in science and technology.

Who’s Involved


Catherine Burnett
Vice President, Associate Dean, Director of Clinical Programs, and Professor of Law