The students and faculty who volunteer their time with the Innocence Project have literally changed lives in their pursuit of justice for the wrongfully convicter. The Innocence Project was founded by two Osgoode professors and alumni, Alan Young and the late Dianne Martin, in 1997. Under the supervision of faculty, students enrolled in the Innocence Project examine cases of suspected wrongful conviction and where feasible, reinvestigate and seek proof of their innocence.
The Innocence Project has had a number of successes. In March 2009, Romeo Phillion was released after 31 years of incarceration, when the Innocence Project helped bring new evidence to light. The Project has also assisted such individuals as Gary Staples and Leonard Peltier, and in other cases has offered support to the Association in Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted (AIDWYC). The Innocence Project also compiled research for the Commission on Proceedings Involving Guy Paul Morin, has intervened in cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, and made submissions to the federal Minister of Justice concerning remedies for wrongful conviction.
Read more about the student experience here.
May 20, 2012: Professor Alan Young, co-founder and director of the Innocence Project, was on CBC Radio's The Sunday Edition. He talked about the Innocence Project seeking a legal ruling to require that evidence in murder cases not be destroyed. Click here to listen to the interview.
April 1, 2011: Osgoode's Innocence Project was profiled on CBC's 'the fifth estate'. Watch A Question of Innocence.
The 9-credit program is offered ever year. The academic program runs over both fall and winter semesters. Students receive a letter grade for a major research paper (3 credits). Students’ clinical work is graded on a credit/no credit basis (6 credits). A written evaluation of each student’s clinical work is attached as part of the student’s transcript.
There are no prerequisites for the program.