Duke Law’s Wrongful Convictions Clinic

Duke Law’s Wrongful Convictions Clinic

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The Wrongful Convictions Clinic is a law clinic at the Duke University School of Law that investigates plausible claims of innocence made by North Carolina prisoners convicted of felonies. Students in the clinic, study the causes of wrongful convictions, including mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, faulty forensic evidence, and “jailhouse snitches.” Together with the Duke Law Innocence Project, a student-run organization with the same mission, student-attorneys work under the supervision of faculty to manage cases and perform a wide range of duties, including interviewing the incarcerated person, locating and interviewing witnesses, gathering documentation, writing legal documents and memos, and working with experts. Most clinic cases do not involve DNA.

The Duke Law Innocence Project is a volunteer student organization that works to exonerate victims of wrongful convictions by investigating claims of actual innocence. After completing a careful review according to set criteria and guidelines, the various student teams present their conclusions to the Project leadership and faculty advisers. The Duke Law Innocence Project looks at wrongful convictions not only on an individual case-by-case basis but also engages in policy reforms, and outreach to the community in education. The organization also helps its exonerees in their reintegration to society.

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