The Wrongful Convictions Clinic – The Innocence Project

"Thanks to the work at the Clinic I was exposed to the big things taking place in reality. 

I see each new task as a bigger, more significant challenge, then the one before. 

The Clinic manages to combine practice and theory phenomenally". 

 

Adv. Yair Hershkowitz, clinical supervisor of the Wrongful Convictions Clinic 

 

 

The Wrongful Convictions Clinic is based on the model of the Innocence Project, to assist prisoners who have been wrongfully convicted. This initiative, which started in the U.S., grew into a global Innocence Network, and the Clinic recently became a formal member of the network.

The Clinic works in partnership with the Public Defender's Office in order to identify and work towards revoking wrongful convictions. Participants undertake a variety of tasks, all of which are carried out under the close supervision of the Clinic’s attorney, including careful analysis of case materials, meeting with clients, and preparing cases for court. 

In addition to these immediate goals, the Clinic works towards advancing much-needed legislative change in this area and enriching the legal knowledge. The clinic conducts projects within the community to raise awareness to criminal law issues and the importance of a just process, and is also creating the first Israeli legal database on wrongful convictions and retrials, to provide the legal community with necessary knowledge about such cases. 

The Clinic has recently succeeded in presenting a case of a murder conviction for retrial before the Israeli Public Defender, and received formal approval to submit the petition for retrial on behalf of the Public Defender. The Clinic is currently preparing the petition for a retrial, to be submitted to the Supreme Court, a relatively rare occasion in the Israeli legal system (only 31 request for retrials were submitted from the establishment of the State of Israel until today).