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First Annual Wrongful Convictions Distinguished Speakers Series

Distinguished scholars and wrongfully convicted individuals come together to speak up on miscarriages of justice, wrongful convictions and where the system fails.

September 8, 2011

/ Elizabeth Loftus

Distinguished Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior and Criminology, Law & Society and Professor of Law and Cognitive Science at the University of California, Irvine

One of the world's leading experts in eyewitness memory and false memory, Dr. Loftus is an award-winning author of 20 books and 500 scientific articles.

ANGELL READING ROOM, Roosevelt University Library / 4:30 to 6 P.M.

September 14, 2011

/ Rob Warden

Executive Director, Center on Wrongful Convictions, Northwestern University, and award-winning legal affairs journalist

As editor and publisher of Chicago Lawyer in the 1980s, Mr. Warden exposed more than a score of wrongful convictions in Illinois, including cases in which six innocent men had been sentenced to death.  

/ Randy Steidl

Released from the Illinois Correctional Center at Danville, May 28, 2004

Mr. Steidl was the eighteenth person to be exonerated and released after having been sentenced to death in Illinois in 1977.

GAGE GALLERY / 4:30 to 7 P.M


 YouTube Videos

Rob Warden and Randy Steidl @ Loundy Human Rights Project, Sept  14, 2011 - 7 parts total

September 21, 2011

/ Steven Drizin

Clinical Professor of Law; Associate Director, Bluhm Legal Clinic, Northwestern University; Legal Director, Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, Northwestern University; and Co-Founder, Center of Wrongful Convictions of Youth, Northwestern University

Mr. Drizin's research interests involve the study of false confessions and juvenile justice. His policy work focuses on supporting efforts to require law enforcement agencies to electronically record custodial interrogations.

GAGE GALLERY / 4:30 to 6 P.M.


YouTube Videos

Steve Drizin @ Loundy Human Rights Project, Sept  21, 2011 - 7 parts total

October 5, 2011

/ Delbert Tibbs

Convicted in 1974 and sentenced to death for murder and life for rape

Despite his solid alibi, Mr. Tibbs was convicted—based largely on eyewitness testimony and jailhouse informant testimony. In 1982 the State of Florida dismissed all charges against Mr. Tibbs after finding that the evidence was tainted.

GAGE GALLERY / 4:30 to 6 P.M.


YouTube Videos

Delbert Tibbs @ Loundy Human Rights Project, October 5, 2011 - 8 parts total

October 12

/ Jonathan Jay Koehler

Beatrice Kuhn Professor of Law, Northwestern University

Dr. Koehler's areas of interest include behavioral decision theory, quantitative reasoning in the courtroom, and forensic science. His work shows how cognitive bias and statistical error lead to errors in the criminal justice system.

GAGE GALLERY / 4:30 to 6 P.M.


 YouTube Videos

Jay Koehler @ Loundy Human Rights Project, October 12, 2011 2012 - 6 parts total

This series is sponsored by the Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project, one of the centers and institutes of the Roosevelt University College of Arts and Sciences. The project's 2010–12 focus is on miscarriages of justice and wrongful convictions. Co-sponsored by the Department of Psychology and the Justice Council of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, Northwestern University School of Law , and with the generous financial support of Susan B. Rubnitz.

December 7, 2011

Capstone Experience: Loundy Student Expert Panel Presents Reports of Comparative Research to Academic and Legal Experts

One of the most important highlights of the Fall semester came with the presentation of our comparative research to a panel of local experts. On Dec 7, the Loundy Honors students presented the results of their research in Chicago and abroad to a distinguished panel which included:

Roosevelt University Assistant Professor of Psychology Shari Berkowitz: Professor Berkowitz, who received her PhD in 2009 from UC Irvine, studies how people misremember details of events, and in some cases, develop false beliefs and memories of entire events that never actually happened to them. She is especially interested in the application of this work to the legal system. Her other research interests include eyewitness testimony, memory for trauma, false accusations, and wrongful convictions.

Phil Payne is a 2009 Northwestern Law graduate who worked in the Center on Wrongful Convictions for two of his three law school years. He has worked at the Office of the State Appellate Defender here in Chicago for the past two years, where he represents indigent criminal defendants on appeal from all manner of convictions. He remains involved with the CWC and its cause through the Justice Council.

Katie Pelech is licensed to practice law in Illinois and currently serves as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Mary L. Mikva. She is the President of the CWC's Justice Council, and a member of the Young Professional Board of the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. In a previous life, she worked as a journalist. 

Rachel Steinback received her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 2008. She  is a lawyer at the civil rights law firm Loevy & Loevy, where her practice is devoted to civil rights and wrongful convictions. She recently completed a one-year federal clerkship with U.S. District Court Judge Amy J. St. Eve. in the Northern District of Illinois, and spent a year working as a litigation associate at an international law firm in New York after law school, prior to returning to Chicago to do civil rights work. While in law school, I worked in the Bluhm Legal Clinic's Center on Wrongful Convictions.  Among the cases she worked on was that of Thaddeus Jimenez, a 13-year old who was wrongfully convicted of murder and spent nearly 17 years in prison before he was exonerated.  Also in law school she spent a summer in Tanzania working at a human rights non-governmental organization, and worked in Malawi to reduce prison overcrowding and their immense homicide backlog.

We invite you to view the students’ insightful presentations, as well as the panelists’ comments in the videos below.  

Loundy Human Rights Project Scholars: Comparative Study  of London & Chicago -- 7 parts total