Saint Martin’s social justice lecture to shed light on wrongful convictions
Jacqueline McMurtrie will discuss her work with the Innocence Network
March 25, 2008
Lacey, Washington — Saint Martin’s University will
wrap up its 2007–08 Robert A. Harvie Social Justice Lecture Series with
the fourth and final lecture on Friday, April 18, at 4 p.m. in the
Norman Worthington Conference Center on the University’s main campus,
5300 Pacific Ave. SE, Lacey, Washington, 98503. Jacqueline McMurtrie,
associate professor at the University of Washington School of Law, will
discuss her work as director of the Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW)
Clinic, an organization that has overturned the convictions of 12
wrongly convicted inmates since its formation in 1997. Admission is free
and open to the public.
McMurtrie joined the University of Washington School
of Law faculty in 1989 after a career as a public defender. Her research
and teaching interests revolve primarily around criminal law and
appellate/post-conviction practice, with an emphasis on wrongful
convictions. McMurtrie’s work with IPNW is linked to the Innocence
Network, an affiliation of international organizations dedicated to
providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals
seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted.
In her presentation, McMurtrie will give a brief
overview of the Innocence Network. Using case studies from different
countries, she will discuss the leading causes of wrongful convictions
and the reforms that can decrease the rate of error in the criminal
To date, more than 200 people have been freed after
DNA tests conclusively established their innocence, while numerous
others have been exonerated through investigative work that uncovered
evidence of innocence without the benefit of DNA testing. “Studies of
the DNA exoneration cases and other erroneous convictions provide
irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare
events, but arise from systemic defects that can be precisely identified
and addressed,” says McMurtrie.
McMurtrie received a President’s Award from the
Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a Pro Bono Award
from the National Law Journal in honor of her work with IPNW. She has
been recognized as a Washington State “Super Lawyer” and selected by
students as a Phillip A. Trautman Professor of the Year.
The Robert A. Harvie Social Justice Lecture Series
was created by Saint Martin’s University Associate Professor of Criminal
Justice Robert Hauhart, Ph.D., J.D., to raise awareness of social
justice issues within the community and to honor the work of Robert A.
Harvie, J.D., former professor and chair of the Department of Criminal
Justice at Saint Martin’s.
Saint Martin’s University is an independent
four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 320-acre
wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic
Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine
colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only
one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares
students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate
programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering.
Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious
backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension
campuses located at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base,
Olympic College, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College.
For additional information:
Robert Hauhart, Ph.D., J.D.
Saint Martin’s University
Saint Martin’s University