Academics Can (and Should) Learn from the Fields They Study

In April, I attended the annual conference held by the Innocence Network, a conglomeration of nearly 70 organizations around the world that work to free innocent prisoners from their wrongful punishment, educate the public and practitioners, and reform policies to improve the criminal legal system. This year, more than 900 people — including several hundred exonerees and their families — gathered in Atlanta to celebrate victories and discuss new directions in the fight for justice.

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The exoneree stage at the Innocence Network Conference. The new exonerees at this year’s meeting collectively spent 1,070 years incarcerated for crimes they did not commit.

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Author, professor. Writing about law, justice, politics, culture. Books: Exonerated ( & When Justice Fails (

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