The Catholic University of America

(L to R) Dean Daniel F. Attridge, Governor Robert Ehrlich, Professor Cara Drinan, and Professor Sandy Ogilvy 

 The Innocence Project Clinic and Clemency Project at CUA Law was formed
in 2013 through a partnership with former Governor Ehrlich.

CUA Law's Clemency Program featured in Diverse Issues in Higher Education

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Diverse Issues in Higher Education featured an article on the Innocence Project Clinic and Clemency Project at CUA Law. The article quoted both Professor Sandy Ogilvy, Director the Innocence Project Clinic and Clemency Project, and Nicole Conte, 3L.

Catholic University Finds Clemency Project Rewarding Experience

From: Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Date: January 18, 2016
By: Jamaal Abdul-Alim


As Catholic University of America (CUA) law student Nicole Conte worked on a federal clemency petition for Kevin McDonald, it wasn’t long before she concluded that the convicted drug trafficker — who had been sentenced to life in prison — deserved a shot at freedom.

“He had no history of violence and a very minor criminal history,” Conte said. “He was also the only person in the drug conspiracy to exercise his right to trial and the only person sentenced to life in prison, a sentence that not even the leader of the conspiracy received.”

Conte’s work on McDonald’s petition paid off in a major way last month when McDonald became one of 95 drug offenders who got their sentences commuted by President Barack Obama.
. . .

For law students, Ogilvy said working on clemency entails the kind of experience that law students should attain in order to gain a better sense of what they will have to do as lawyers.

“I think, from my perspective, it gives the students the kind of full range of lawyering experiences that they can expect when they’re in practice,” Ogilvy said. “Even if they never intend to practice criminal law, they have the opportunity to do client interviewing and, in some cases, client counseling, and they have the ability to do fact investigation, legal writing, research. So it’s a full range of lawyering skills.”

Click here to view the article.
To learn more about the formation of the Innocence Project Clinic and Clemency Project at CUA Law click here.