Available to: 2nd or 3rd year students
The Innocence Clinic introduces students to the justice system from the perspective of a wrongfully convicted individual. Students learn about the system by dissecting and investigating closed cases where errors may have been made resulting in the wrongful conviction of an innocent person. This Clinic involves a two semester commitment. It is open to 2Ls and 3Ls.
Prerequisites: None. Evidence and Criminal Procedure are recommended as pre- or co-requisites.
Course: Innocence Law (2 cr., graded, Year-long). This course focuses on state and federal post-conviction remedies, the necessary steps for investigating and proving an innocence case and the methods used to uncover the causes of wrongful convictions. During the weekly class sessions, students will also discuss progress and strategy on their assigned cases. This course must be taken during both Fall and Spring semesters and is not open to other students without instructor permission. Meets Experiential Requirement for graduation.
Placements: (5 cr., P/F, Fall through Spring Semester). Students will intern with the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center where they will work closely with RMIC Legal Director Professor Jensie Anderson, who has extensive experience in innocence cases. Students will be assigned a case for a client incarcerated in Utah, Wyoming or Nevada and will be given significant responsibility to investigate that client’s claims of innocence. These investigations include reconstructing the case record, cataloging and locating key physical evidence and witnesses, and interviewing those witnesses and the prisoner. If a student investigation uncovers new evidence of innocence, RMIC will recruit a cooperating, pro bono attorney who will prepare, with the student’s assistance, an action for post-conviction relief.
Faculty: Professor Jensie Anderson and Professor Jennifer Springer
Registration: To enroll in the class and clinic, students must complete the Clinical Application and submit it with the required documents (résumé and one-page statement of interest).
LAW 7829-001: Innocence Law Fall – Spring (2 credits): Thurs. 3:05 – 5:05 p.m.
LAW 7629-001: Innocence Clinic Fall-Spring (5 credits)
Additional work WILL APPLY to the Pro Bono Initiative certificate.