President of the Innocence Project of Iowa to Speak at UD

Feb 17, 2015 | Kristi Lynch

Brian Farrell, president of the Innocence Project of Iowa, will discuss the issue of wrongful convictions in the American criminal justice system, in a lecture on Monday, March 2, at 6:00 p.m. in Blades Chapel on the University of Dubuque campus.  Farrell’s lecture is sponsored by the University of Dubuque’s Wendt Center for Character Education.

Since the late 1980s, the use of DNA technology has led to the exoneration of 325 innocent people convicted of crimes they did not commit across the United States. Farrell will explain the common contributing factors in wrongful conviction cases and discuss the reforms that could improve the integrity of the system and reduce the chances an innocent person will be sent to prison.

The Innocence Project of Iowa was founded in 2007 by a group of attorneys, professors, and students committed to the prevention of wrongful convictions and the exoneration of innocent persons.  The Innocence Project of Iowa is a nonprofit organization that seeks to prevent and remedy wrongful convictions in the State of Iowa through case investigation, policy reform, and education. The Project's volunteers assist inmates with viable claims of actual innocence and work to improve the integrity of Iowa's criminal justice system.

Dr. Brian Farrell is a lecturer and assistant director of the Center for Human Rights at the University of Iowa College of Law. He is also co-founder and president of the Innocence Project of Iowa, an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to preventing and remedying wrongful convictions.  An eastern Iowa native, Farrell received his law degree from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree and PhD from the National University of Ireland Galway.  He has served as a contributor to the Oxford Reports on International Criminal Law, a consultant to the Harvard School of Public Health’s Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, and a human rights field researcher in Israel and the West Bank.  In 2012, Farrell was selected as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer and taught for a semester at Sofia University in Bulgaria’s capital.  He teaches international law and human rights courses, and is the author of numerous articles on international law, human rights, criminal law, and legal education.