Cooley Innocence Project director to give Constitution Day lecture at WMU

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The director of the Cooley Innocence Project for the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School will visit WMU to talk about the project and deliver the U.S. Constitution Day Lecture.

Marla L. Mitchell-Cichon will speak at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, in 3301 Friedmann Hall. Her presentation, titled "Safeguarding the Constitution: What You Can Do to Improve the American Criminal Justice System," is free and open to the public.

The Cooley Innocence Project

The Innocence Project uses DNA evidence to free people who have been wrongly convicted of crimes. Mitchell-Cichon will discuss the project, how it relates to the Constitution and how WMU students can get involved.

Americans enjoy a number of constitutional safeguards when charged with a crime, but those rights are not always adequately protected. Mitchell-Cichon will give an overview of the causes of wrongful conviction and how the Cooley Innocence Project works to make the criminal justice system better.

Marla L. Mitchell-Cichon

Mitchell-Cichon earned her juris doctor degree from the University of Akron School of Law in 1984. Since then, she has been a public defender in Ohio, been director of the Trial Litigation Clinic for the University of Akron School of Law and taught at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Dayton School of Law.

She has extensive practice experience in criminal poverty law, including before the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Ohio Supreme Court and trial courts in Ohio and Michigan. Since 1995, she has been teaching at the WMU Cooley Law School, where she teaches in the Sixty Plus Inc. and Cooley's Innocence Project. Her research is in the areas of criminal law, elder law, ethics and clinical teaching.

The presentation is sponsored by the Institute of Government and Politics, Department of Political Science and the WMU Cooley Law School.

For more information, contact Dr. Peter Wielhouwer, director of the Institute of Government and Politics, at or (269) 387-5685.

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