Montana Innocence Project Open House Thursday October 28

by jhwygirl

A worthy project – I’m just gonna reprint the press release:

Montana Innocence Project is dedicated to exonerating the innocent, preventing wrongful convictions, and educating the next generation of attorneys and journalists.

The Montana Innocence Project will host a free open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28, at the University of Montana’s School of Law. Idaho Innocence Project director and Boise State University biological sciences professor Greg Hampikian will speak about the importance of forensic DNA, and students working with the project will share highlights from cases they are investigating this term. RSVPs are requested as refreshments will be provided: (406) 243-6698 or

Third-year law student Beth Chambers has worked or volunteered with the project since summer 2009.

“I’m grateful that this opportunity exists because I’m gaining the skills I’ll need to work as an attorney for an innocence project when I graduate,” said Chambers. “It’s an incredible feeling to know that you are some potentially innocent prisoner’s last and best hope.”

Montana Innocence Project is unique in offering an interdisciplinary Innocence Clinic for journalism and law students through its affiliation with the University of Montana.

“Students gain real-world experiences by investigating and preparing to litigate actual innocence cases, and they are a huge help to us because of our small staff,” said associate director Caitlin Copple, the project’s sole full-time staff member.

Founded in 2008, Montana was one of the last in the U.S. without an innocence project. Nationally, 259 people have been exonerated with DNA evidence, including three in Montana. Montana Innocence Project has reviewed more than 250 cases and currently has about 15 under in-depth review with the goal of filing a petition for post-conviction relief sometime this year.

Learn more at or call (406) 243-6698.

  1. Pronghorn

    Worthy, indeed. Kudos to the young people who are channeling their talent and energy in that humanitarian direction. Here’s hoping that the Barry Beach case is one they are working on.

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