Executive director of Florida Innocence Commission encourages 2Ls and 3Ls to join
Lester Garringer, executive director of the Florida Innocence Commission, discussed research opportunities with students on Monday, Oct. 4. The Commission was established by order of Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady to conduct a comprehensive study of the causes of wrongful convictions and of measure to prevent such convictions. The Commission is seeking 2L and 3L student volunteers to help research information related to the causes of wrongful convictions.
The Florida Innocence Commission is established to provide a mechanism to recommend to the Supreme Court of Florida solutions to eliminate or significantly reduce the causes for wrongful or erroneous convictions. The Commission brings together prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, law enforcement, legislative representatives, and victim advocates, to work together to identify the common causes of wrongful convictions, and to recommend procedures to decrease the possibility of these convictions in the future.
Garringer promises students “will find the work extremely rewarding.”
“It is not easy, but it is different,” he said.
Students interested in trial work will find the project especially interesting, and he believes the experience will follow them through the rest of their careers.
“We are all really excited to start working on this project,” said Samantha Newman, 3L one of four UF Law students leading the project at the University of Florida. “I think it’s great that Florida is working proactively with regards to the serious problem of wrongful convictions and trying to figure out what the causes are.”
The Florida Innocence Commission is currently funded with a one-time legislative grant of $200,000. The Florida Bar Foundation has provided an additional grant of about $115,000.
For more information on the Innocence Commission, please visit their website.