The Innocence Clinic is dedicated to identifying and correcting wrongful convictions and is committed to exonerating innocent individuals and combating injustice. The clinic handles cases involving innocent individuals incarcerated for a minimum of 10 years who have new evidence ranging from recanting witnesses to new witnesses discovered by students to prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel. The clinic also accepts cases involving DNA evidence. The majority of the cases handled by the clinic involve serious offenses such as rape and murder and the majority of our clients are serving life sentences.
In this hands-on project, law students have the opportunity for live client representation and the responsibility of:
Students may also have the opportunity to research, draft, and file motions for post-conviction relief, and appear in court on behalf of those wrongfully convicted. Project responsibilities include detailed knowledge of the project's procedures and thorough documentation of actions taken on cases through memo writing. The entire project is paperless and requires extensive emailing and software involvement. Investigation of innocence claims includes case screening, witness and client interviews, motion writing, and research. Students may have the opportunity to litigate motions for post-conviction relief.
Ten (10) hours per week of field work/litigation/investigation/screening/memo writing and case documentation, and one hour of class time per week. Also (2) two hours of individual case staffing per week is required.
Class time will include a discussion of how to screen and investigate cases, case rounds, brainstorming, and post-conviction law.
Wrongful Convictions: Causes and Remedies
In this companion course to the Miami Innocence Clinic students will explore areas such as federal and state habeas corpus, collateral remedies, and causes of wrongful convictions, scientific evidence, and DNA science. This course is a graded 2 credit lecture class.
The clinic is graded and meets the writing or skills requirement. It is also a University wide CIVIC engagement course. Enrollment is limited and students will be selected by Professor Mourer. The clinic is 4 credits per semester. Students who show exemplary performance may be permitted to continue in the clinic subsequent semesters.
The Miami Law Innocence Clinic is also offered during the summer for 4 credits. The pre-requisite to the clinic, wrongful convictions, will also be offered during the summer for those wishing to apply for the clinic in the fall. Click here to learn more about Summer Clinics and how to apply.
In October 2011, some of the top experts in wrongful convictions spoke at Miami Law. The panel was moderated by Craig Trocino, Co-Director of Innocence Clinic. The panelists included:
In the Innocence Clinic's first semester, it was reviewed and accepted to be a member of the National Network of Innocence Projects. This honor provides the Project with opportunities and resources across the nation.
This clinic has been chosen by The University of Miami's Office of Civic and Community Engagement as Academic Service Learning Courses as it: