Monday, December 20, 2004
Disproving the old slur "those who can, do, those who can't, blog," Cincinnati CrimProf Mark Godsey has notched another remarkable success in his legal career: Through the Ohio Innocence Project he directs, his students obtained parole for Gary Reece, a convict who served 25 years. CrimProf blogged the case earlier; Mark's students argued actual innocence, and the evidence of innocence was cited by the Parole Board as the reason for Reeces' release. Gary Reece is not the first person Mark claimed was innocent who is now free. In 2003, when Mark was Faculty Supervisor of the Kentucky Innocence project, along with Northern Kentucky U. CrimProf Mark Stavsky, his students exonerated Herman May. Mark and his students are also working on a number of other cases, including the conviction of a former Akron police captain serving life for a murder he claims he did not commit.
This year has been good for Mark in other ways; he won Cincinnati's Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching, its prize for support of public interest work, the Ohio State Law School's Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award, and a Superstar of Criminal Law '04 award by the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He helped land a $1 Million gift to endow the Innocence Project, and has a major piece coming out in the California Law Review on confessions to join his Duke and Georgetown publications (available here).
Mark is a graduate of Northwestern University and Ohio State Law School, where he was an editor of the law review and graduated second in his class. He clerked for Judge McKay on the 10th Circuit, spent some time at Jones, Day and then five years at the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York where he prosecuted organized crime cases, among others. After two years of teaching at Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law, he joined the University of Cincinnati, where he is now in the middle of his second year.
Congratulations, Mark, on all of your accomplishments in the service of justice! [Jack Chin]