Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Innocence Network Conference: The national Innocence Network Conference will take place this year at Santa Clara University, home base of the Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP). The three-day conference, which brings together hundreds of people who work against wrongful convictions, is planned for March 28-30.
Among those attending the event are attorneys, educators, civic and business leaders, and exonerated individuals who have been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned. John Van de Kamp, former state attorney general, will participate in the conference, along with speakers representing Innocence Projects from Hawaii, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, New York and New Orleans, including the co-founders of the first Innocence Project, professors Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld of Cardozo School of Law.
Those assisting with the conference from SCU include law professors Gerald Uelman, who is director of the California Commission for the Fair Administration of Justice and Kathleen "Cookie" Ridolfi, director of the NCIP. The event is aimed at Network members but is open to anyone interested.
According to Ridolfi, "The Innocence Network Conference is a rich educational forum for policy and litigation issues concerning wrongful conviction. It allows those working within the Network to come together and share strategies to litigate innocence claims and to confer on and advance policy initiatives to address causes of and remedies for wrongful conviction."
Activities throughout the three-day event include meetings, panel discussions, special presentations and sessions designed specifically for exonerees. One objective of the conference, say organizers, is to provide an opportunity for exonerees to find social and emotional support from others who have suffered similar experiences. [Mark Godsey]