Miscarriages of Justice

New Strategies for Wrongful Convictions

Home Projects Miscarriages of Justice: New Strategies for Wrongful Convictions

Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Thursday, January 27, 2023 | 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

A diverse group of practitioners and scholars recently gathered for a working-group process to create a Miscarriages of Justice Post-Conviction Innovation and Action Guide for Litigators that provides concrete and implementable guidance on miscarriage of justice claims. The hope is to better position litigators and incarcerated individuals to advocate for greater relief from wrongful convictions. The symposium will discuss their findings and recommendations and unveil the guide itself.

Miscarriages of Justice: New Strategies for Wrongful Convictions, January 27, 2023, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Agenda

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Location: Room 544, ASU Law Beus Center for Law and Society

4:45 – 5:00 p.m.

Welcome; Debut Miscarriage of Justice Guide – Professor Valena Beety

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Book Event – Violence Against Women in the Criminal Legal System

Valena Beety, Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights

Leigh Goodmark, Imperfect Victims: Criminalized Survivors and the Promise of Abolition Feminism

Victoria Law, Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women

0.75 CLE credit hours available – Arizona and California

Friday, January 27, 2023

Location: Great Hall, ASU Law Beus Center for Law and Society

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.

Light breakfast and registration

8:30 – 9:20 a.m.

Panel 1 – Miscarriage of Justice Guide

Panelists

  • Valena Beety, Professor of Law, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Deputy Director of the Academy for Justice
  • Lisa Kavanaugh, Director of Innocence Program at Committee for Public Counsel Services, Massachusetts
  • Karen Thompson, Civil Rights Attorney, ACLU New Jersey

0.75 CLE credit hours available – Arizona and California

9:30 – 10:20 a.m.

Panel 2 – Prosecutors and Miscarriage of Justice Claims

Panelists

  • Cynthia Garza, Chief of the Conviction Integrity Unit, Dallas County District Attorney’s Office
  • Emily Maw, Chief of Civil Rights Division, Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office
  • Valerie Newman, Chief of the Conviction Integrity Unit, Wayne County (Detroit)
  • Carrie Sperling, Director of the Conviction Review Unit, MN Attorney General’s Office

0.75 CLE credit hours available – Arizona and California

10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Networking break

11:00 – 12:00 p.m.

Panel 3 – Defense Attorneys and Litigating Miscarriage of Justice Claims

Panelists

  • Stephanie Hartung, Senior Attorney, New England Innocence Project
  • David Loftis, Attorney-In-Charge, Post-Conviction and Forensic Litigation, Legal Aid Society
  • Vanessa Potkin, Special Litigation Director, Innocence Project
  • Cheryl Wattley, Professor of Law, Director of the Joyce Ann Brown Innocence Clinic, UNT Dallas College of Law

0.75 CLE credit hours available – Arizona and California

12:15 – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch and Keynote Speaker U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins

0.75 CLE credit hours available – Arizona and California

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Break-out Brainstorming Sessions

Location: Rooms varied

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.

Bring Brainstorming Ideas Back to the Group

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

Panel 4 – Judges and Miscarriage of Justice Claims

Moderator

  • Sharon Beckman, Associate Clinical Professor & Director of the Boston College Innocence Program, Boston College Law

Panelists

  • Barbara Hervey, Justice, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
  • Geraldine Hines, Associate Justice for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (Retired)
  • Kathe Tuttman, Associate Justice, Massachusetts Superior Court (Retired)

0.75 CLE credit hours available – Arizona and California

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.

Closing


Registration

Click the button below to register for the Miscarriages of Justice: New Strategies for Wrongful Convictions symposium.


Event Speakers

Valeena Beety headshot

Valena Beety

Professor of Law, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Deputy Director of the Academy for Justice

Valena Elizabeth Beety is professor of law at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the deputy director of the Academy for Justice, a criminal justice center connecting research with policy reform.  Previously, Beety served as a law professor and the founding director of the West Virginia Innocence Project at the West Virginia University College of Law. Her experiences as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., and as an innocence litigator in Mississippi and West Virginia, shape her research and writing on wrongful convictions, forensic evidence, the opioid crisis and incarceration. She is the co-editor of the Wrongful Convictions Reader and the Scientific Evidence Treatise. Professor Beety has successfully exonerated wrongfully convicted clients, obtained presidential grants of clemency for drug offenses, and served as an elected board member of the national Innocence Network, an invited board member of the Research Center on Violence, and an appointed commissioner on the West Virginia Governor’s Indigent Defense Commission. 

Read more about Valena Beety.

Cynthia Garza headshot

Cynthia Garza

Chief of the Conviction Integrity Unit, Dallas County District Attorney’s Office

Cynthia R. Garza is the Special Fields Bureau Chief of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office’s and Chief of the Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU).  Ms. Garza graduated magna cum laude with a double undergraduate degree in Sociology and Psychology, with distinction, from Southern Methodist University in 2001.  She received her law degree in 2004 from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. 

Ms. Garza established her own law firm after graduation and later joined a criminal defense firm where she honed her skills in appellate and post-conviction criminal defense.  Ms. Garza joined the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office’s Appellate Division in 2008 and joined the Conviction Integrity Unit in January 2010.  Ms. Garza served as Acting Chief of the Unit for 10 months before being named the Chief of the CIU in July 2017.  She has been involved in a significant percentage of the Unit’s exonerations. 

Read more about Cynthia Garza.

Leigh Goodmark headshot

Leigh Goodmark

Marjorie Cook Professor of Law and Co-Director, Clinical Law Program

Leigh Goodmark (she/hers) is the Marjorie Cook Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Frances King Carey School of Law. Professor Goodmark co-directs the Clinical Law Program, teaches Family Law, Gender and the Law, and Gender Violence and the Law, and directs the Gender Violence Clinic. Professor Goodmark’s scholarship focuses on intimate partner violence. She is the author of Imperfect Victims: Criminalized Survivors and the Promise of Abolition Feminism (University of California Press 2023); Decriminalizing Domestic Violence: A Balanced Policy Approach to Intimate Partner Violence (University of California Press 2018), and A Troubled Marriage: Domestic Violence and the Legal System (New York University 2012), which was named a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title of 2012. She is the co-editor of Comparative Perspectives on Gender Violence: Lessons from Efforts Worldwide (Oxford 2015). Professor Goodmark’s work on intimate partner violence has also appeared in numerous journals, law reviews, and publications, including Violence Against Women, the New York Times, the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, the Harvard Journal on Gender and the Law, and the Yale Journal on Law and Feminism. From 2003 to 2014, Professor Goodmark was on the faculty at the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she served as Director of Clinical Education and Co-director of the Center on Applied Feminism. From 2000 to 2003, Professor Goodmark was the Director of the Children and Domestic Violence Project at the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law. Before joining the Center on Children and the Law, Professor Goodmark represented clients in the District of Columbia in custody, visitation, child support, restraining order, and other civil matters. Professor Goodmark is a graduate of Yale University and Stanford Law School.

Stephanie Hartung headshot

Stephanie R. Hartung

Senior Attorney, New England Innocence Project

Professor Stephanie Hartung teaches in the first-year Legal Skills in Social Context program. She has written extensively in the area of state and federal criminal procedure and wrongful convictions, specifically focusing on procedural bars to post-conviction innocence claims. She recently proposed a federal post-conviction innocence track to address the issue. Additionally, her scholarship focuses on the intersection of legal writing and social justice.  She currently serves as the Resident Fellow for the Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration (CPIAC) at the law school, where she is involved in the Cradle-to-Prison (C2P) Pipeline research project, designed to help address and combat mass incarceration.  She is the principle investigator for the C2P Tier 1 grant and is overseeing an expansive prison survey component of the project.  Professor Hartung is also the faculty advisor for several student organizations, including the Criminal Law Project, the Mental Health Alliance, and the Women’s Law Caucus.  She currently serves on the board of the Journal of Legal Education and the Wrongful Conviction Law Review.

Read more about Stephanie R. Hartung.

Barbara Hervey

Justice, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Judge Barbara Parker Hervey was elected to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in November 2000. A native of New Jersey, Judge Hervey earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and her J.D. in 1979 from St. Mary’s University School of Law, where she is currently an Adjunct Professor and a past recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Hervey was in private practice for 5 years with the Law Office of M.M. Pena, Jr. of San Antonio. She was also an Assistant Criminal District Attorney in the appellate section of the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office for 16 years. Judge Hervey has been an author and speaker for over 150 lectures and legal seminars, served on the Governor’s Ad Hoc Committee to Rewrite the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, supervised continuing legal education training for attorneys in the D.A.’s Office, served as a Faculty Member of the National College of District Attorneys, and co-authored The Appellate Prosecutor: “Professional Responsibility on Appeal.”

Read more about Judge Barbara Hervey.

Geraldine Hines headshot

Geraldine Hines

Associate Justice, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (Retired)

Geraldine S. Hines was born in Scott, Mississippi and grew up in the Mississippi Delta. She graduated from Tougaloo College in 1968 and the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1971. Upon graduation she became a staff attorney at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, engaging in prisoner’s rights litigation, and then, from 1973 to 1977 practiced criminal law with the Roxbury Defenders’ Committee in positions of progressively greater responsibility culminating as the Director of the Committee.

Read more about the Honorable Geraldine Hines.

Lisa Kavanaugh headshot

Lisa Kavanaugh

Associate Justice, Middlesex County Superior Court in Massachusetts

Lisa M. Kavanaugh is the director of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) Innocence Program, a unit of the statewide public defender agency in Massachusetts that identifies innocence cases and provides litigation support and funding for the investigation and expert resources needed. In addition to litigating cases and administering Innocence Program resources, Ms. Kavanaugh is actively involved in developing statewide training programs on flawed forensic evidence and other leading causes of wrongful convictions. In 2013, she formed a Working Group of criminal justice leaders to improve access to post-conviction DNA analysis and reform evidence handling practices. A frequent lecturer at local and national CLE training programs, she has also served as a Visiting Lecturer of Law at Harvard Law School, an Adjunct Professor with the Boston College Law School Innocence Clinic, and training faculty member for trial skills programs at Harvard Law School. She presently serves on the Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on Eyewitness Identification and heads the Running for Innocence Program.

Victoria Law headshot

Victoria Law

Journalist, Author

Victoria Law is a freelance journalist and author. Her books include Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women (PM Press 2009), Prison By Any Other Name:The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reform (New Press 2020), and “Prisons Make Us Safer” and 20 Other Myths About Mass Incarceration (Beacon Press 2021). She frequently writes about the intersections between mass incarceration, gender and resistance.

Victoria has over ten years of experience working with writers to shape and revise their works for publication. She is the co-editor of Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities (PM Press 2012) and has worked with other published authors to ensure that their ideas are clearly articulated in ways that engage a wide range of readers.

From 2003 to 2020, she has edited Tenacious: Art and Writings by Women in Prison. She has also worked with incarcerated women to develop their writings for other publications.

David Loftis

Attorney-In-Charge, Post-Conviction and Forensic Litigation, Legal Aid Society

Emily Maw headshot

Emily Maw

Chief of Civil Rights Division, Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office

Emily Maw has been the Chief of Civil Rights Division in the office of Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams since it was created in January 2021. Previously, Emily worked with Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) for 16 ½ years, serving as its director for 13 of those. IPNO represents innocent prisoners serving life sentences in Louisiana and Mississippi. She also worked for Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson on the Louisiana Supreme Court and spent four years as an intern and investigator on capital cases in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. She has served on the Board of Directors of The Innocence Network, the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Louisiana Justice Coalition and Resurrection After Exoneration, the first exoneree-led, prisoner re-entry program in the country. Emily was a Petra Foundation Fellow, a Phillips Brooks House Fellow at Harvard College and was named Edinburgh University’s Alumnus of the Year in 2007. Emily received her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Edinburgh and her Juris Doctor from Tulane Law School, where she has more recently been serving as adjunct faculty for several years. She lives in New Orleans with her husband, two ridiculous daughters, and more chickens than her husband believes they need.

Valerie Newman heashot

Valerie Newman

Director, Conviction Integrity Unit, Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office

Valerie Newman graduated from Wayne State University Law School. She began her career as an attorney with the State Appellate Defender Office where she practiced for over 23 years. She argued hundreds of cases before the Michigan and federal courts. She has been a regularly featured speaker at the Michigan appellate bench-bar conferences, law schools and other groups. She frequently taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School for over 15 years. She has trained, supervised and mentored new attorneys and law students for decades and has advocated for women’s rights and the professional development of women throughout her career.

In November 2017 Ms. Newman was hired as the Director of the newly created Conviction Integrity Unit of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. In this position Ms. Newman is working to strengthen the criminal justice system by investigating claims of wrongful conviction. In the three years that the Unit has been in existence it has received over 1500 requests for investigation. With a small staff of highly experienced attorneys and investigators, the Unit has reviewed over 500 cases and granted relief to 26 men, most of whom were serving mandatory life sentences. The work of the Unit has been positively featured in the New York Times, CNN, the New Republic and other publications – print, radio and television.

Read more about Valerie Newman.

Vanessa Potkin

Vanessa Potkin

Director, Special Litigation, Innocence Project

Vanessa Potkin is the Director of Special Litigation at the Innocence Project where she handles the Project ‘s complex exoneration litigation, with a focus on wrongful convictions based on faulty pathology and medical evidence as well as police misconduct and the cases of innocent individuals who have been sentenced to death. She joined the Project in 2000 as its first staff attorney, and has helped pioneer the model of post-conviction litigation used nationwide to exonerate wrongfully convicted persons. From 2015 to 2020, Vanessa led the team of attorneys responsible for the Innocence Project’s exoneration litigation, overseeing a state and federal docket of approximately 200 cases. Vanessa has represented and exonerated over 30 innocent individuals, from Louisiana to Nevada, who collectively served over 500 years of wrongful imprisonment, five of whom were originally prosecuted for capital murder. A nationally recognized expert on wrongful convictions and their systemic causes, she regularly serves on justice tasks forces and is consulted by attorneys, judicial and legislative committees, and media outlets. Vanessa developed and executive produced along with Viola Davis, the docu-series “The Last Defense” for ABC – examining the cases of two innocent individuals currently on death row.

Rachael Rollins headshot

Rachael Rollins

Associate Justice, Middlesex County Superior Court in Massachusetts

Rachael Rollins attended Buckingham Browne and Nichols and prior to graduating from high school in 1989, was selected onto an Elite New England School Girls Lacrosse Team. After winning a National Championship, she received a lacrosse scholarship to attend the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. At the end of her freshman year, three women’s sports teams were eliminated due to budget cuts. Not a single men’s team was impacted by the budget. With no legal background, Rollins was instrumental (along with several other fabulous women) in organizing with lawyers to file a Title IX lawsuit. Ultimately, the University reinstated all of the women’s teams and that experience is what sparked her interest in the law. Rollins captained the lacrosse team for the two years after it was reinstated. Immediately after graduating in 1994, she went to Northeastern University School of Law. While there, she served as the first legal intern in the history of the National Basketball Players Association and interned with United States District Court Judge Robert E. Keeton. After graduating in 1997, Rollins clerked for one year on the Massachusetts Appeals Court and then went to Georgetown University Law Center where she obtained a Masters in Law while working for the National Football League Players Association.

Read more about Rachael Rollins.

Carrie Sperling headshot

Carrie Sperling

Director of the Conviction Review Unit, MN Attorney General’s Office

Carrie Sperling joined the University of Wisconsin Law School in August 2013 where she now serves as the Interim Director of the Frank J. Remington Center and Co-Director of the Wisconsin Innocence Project. Sperling has a broad range of practice, teaching, and management experience. Her legal practice has focused on civil-rights and post-conviction litigation, and she has taught legal method, persuasion and advocacy at Arizona State’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Read more about Carrie Sperling.

Karen Thompson headshot

Karen Thompson

Civil Rights Attorney, ACLU New Jersey

Karen Thompson is a Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU-NJ. Karen works on a wide range of issues, both civil and criminal, with a particular focus on racial inequality. She litigates in trial and appellate courts and advocates in an array of venues, including state agencies, school districts and municipalities.

Prior to joining the ACLU of New Jersey, she was a senior staff attorney at the Innocence Project, where she successfully represented clients in post-conviction and appellate proceedings, winning several motions for DNA testing and vacating the wrongful convictions of clients in Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. Karen was previously the Director of Scholarship Programs at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she advanced and modernized the programs for students interested in pursuing racial equity and social justice. As an associate at Morrison & Foerster and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, she represented criminal defendants and asylum seekers as part of her rigorous pro bono practice.

Karen holds a B.A. in English and African-American studies from Carleton College, a M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University, and a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. Karen started with the ACLU in May 2019.

Kathe Tuttman

Kathe M. Tuttman

Associate Justice, Massachusetts Superior Court (Retired)

Hon. Kathe M. Tuttman is a retired associate justice of the Middlesex County Superior Court in Massachusetts. She was appointed to the bench by former Governor Mitt Romney in 2006.

Tuttman received a B.A. from Brandeis University in 1974. She went on to complete a J.D. at Suffolk University School of Law in 1988. Prior to joining the bench, Tuttman had worked as an assistant district attorney with the Essex County District Attorney’s Office since 1989. During her tenure there, she served as a prosecutor in the Lawrence District Court (1989 to 1993), lead prosecutor in the Domestic Violence Division (1993 to 1994), deputy director of the Sexual Assault Unit (1994 to 2003) and director of the Family Crimes and Sexual Assault Unit (2003 to 2006).

Cheryl Brown Wattley headshot

Cheryl Brown Wattley

Professor of Law, Director of the Joyce Ann Brown Innocence Clinic, UNT Dallas College of Law

Professor Cheryl Brown Wattley joined the inaugural faculty of the UNT Dallas College of Law from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, where she served on the faculty from 2006 through 2013 and was Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Education. Professor Wattley teaches Criminal Law in the first-year curriculum. She also teaches the upper level courses, The Trial Process and Courtroom Advocacy. Professor Wattley serves as the Director of Experiential Education overseeing the law school’s externship program; the Community Lawyering Centers; the Joyce Ann Brown Innocence Clinic; and the law school’s Community Engagement Program. Professor Wattley graduated from Smith College, cum laude, with high honors in Sociology. She received her Juris Doctorate degree from Boston University College of Law, where she was a Martin Luther King, Jr. fellow and recipient of the Community Service Award.

Read more about Cheryl Brown Wattley.


Visiting Phoenix

In the heart of downtown Phoenix, our state-of-the-art Beus Center for Law and Society serves as the home for ASU Law. As the fifth-largest city in the nation, Phoenix has something for everyone. Beautiful weather and a bustling metropolis provide Sun Devils with plenty of career opportunities, places to eat and hangout, and nearly endless outdoor activities. Click below to find fun activities to take part of in Phoenix, Arizona.

Booking a hotel

You can book your hotel room directly through this link and receive an ASU discount.

For planning purposes, please note that the law school is located downtown (111 E. Taylor Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004). 

Travel advisory – Because the Super Bowl will be in Arizona this year (1.5 weeks after the symposium), we encourage you to book your travel sooner rather than later.

Phoenix, Arizona, USA cityscape in downtown at sunset.

Book Event: Violence Against Women in the Criminal Legal System

Related Events

    Book Event: Violence Against women in the criminal legal system, January 26, 2023, 4:45 to 6:30 p.m.

    Violence Against Women in the Criminal Legal System

    Join the Academy for Justice on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, for a book event focusing on violence against women in the criminal legal system. Three authors with books on the topic, will be present to discuss their books and answer questions, as a lead into the Miscarriages of Justice Symposium to take place the following day.

    January 26, 2023
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    Miscarriages of Justice: New Strategies for Wrongful Convictions, January 27, 2023, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Miscarriages of Justice: A Symposium on New Strategies for Wrongful Convictions

    A diverse group of practitioners and scholars recently gathered for a working-group process to create a Miscarriages of Justice Post-Conviction Innovation and Action Guide for Litigators that provides concrete and implementable guidance on miscarriage of justice claims.

    January 27, 2023
    Beus Center for Law and Society