October 2, 2020 at 10:30 pm

Wrongful Conviction Day | Forces of Freedom or Fraud? Do Conviction Integrity Units Matter? Oct. 7

The Center for Law, Justice & Culture, the Ohio Innocence Project at University of Cincinnati College of Law, and Ohio University chapter and University of Cincinnati chapter of the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP-u) will hold a virtual program exploring the role of Conviction Integrity Units in prosecutor’s offices in wrongful conviction cases to commemorate Wrongful Conviction Day.

The event, Forces of Freedom or Fraud? Do Conviction Integrity Units Matter in Wrongful Conviction Cases, takes place on Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. This event is open to the public.

Wrongful Conviction Day is a day to raise awareness to the causes and remedies of wrongful convictions, as well as the tremendous personal, social and emotional costs wrongful convictions bring to the innocent people and their families. All three panelists have extensive experience with wrongful convictions.

About the Speakers

Charles Jackson, portrait

Charles Jackson

The program will feature five speakers, OIP exonerees Charles Jackson and Ru-El Sailor, both of whom were wrongfully convicted of murder, OIP Staff Attorney Mallorie Thomas, Esq., OIP Policy Coordinator & Systems Liaison Pierce Reed, Esq., and alumni attorney Thomas Costello, Esq.

Ru-El Sailor, portrait

Ru-El Sailor

The two exoneree panelists spent more than 42 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. Jackson was freed in November 2018 after wrongfully spending 27 years in prison, and Sailor was freed after 15 years behind bars. Both of their cases involved the work of Conviction Integrity Units (CIUs), a division of a prosecutorial office that works to prevent, identify and remedy false convictions.

Mallorie Thomas, portrait

Mallorie Thomas

Panelist Thomas is a staff attorney at the Ohio Innocence Project, where she worked to exonerate Jackson, and will talk about her work in this area.

Pierce J. Reed, portrait

Pierce J. Reed

Reed, an Ohio University alumnus and attorney, serves as Program Director at the Ohio Innocence Project. There, his work is centered on promoting legislation and communication that best serves those that have been wrongfully convicted. Reed was named to the College of Arts & Sciences Notable Alumni in 2017. Reed is a summa cum laude graduate of Ohio University, with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Thomas Costello, portrait

Thomas Costello

Costello, also an Ohio University alumnus and attorney and a former CLJC affiliated faculty member, will join the discussion from the perspective of someone who works inside a CIU. Costello is an assistant prosecuting attorney in the Michigan’s Wayne County Conviction Integrity Unit, where he works ensuring claims of wrongful conviction are investigated in greater Detroit.

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