Innocence Project®

The Duke Law Innocence Project® is a volunteer student organization that works to exonerate victims of wrongful convictions by investigating claims of actual innocence. After completing a careful review according to set criteria and guidelines, the various student teams present their conclusions to the Project leadership and faculty advisers.

The Duke Law Innocence Project looks at wrongful convictions not only on an individual case-by-case basis, but also engages in policy reforms, and outreach to the community in education.  The organization also helps its exonerees in their reintegration to society.

For more information, please email or contact Duke Law Innocence Project Executive Director Chantalle Carles at


Our Teams

Research Team

The Innocence Project's Research Team is currently engaged in a long-term project comparing criminal case outcomes between multiple jurisdictions, including North Carolina. The project, based on similar work started by a small number of other American law schools, began in early 2011 and will remain an important priority for the Innocence Project throughout the 2012-2013 academic year. Individual members of the Research Team also work on smaller criminal case research projects, usually in tandem with members of other DLIP teams, on an ad hoc basis.

Outreach Team

The Outreach Team intends to keep building ties within both the Duke and Durham communities, specifically by partnering with Duke undergraduates as well as local high schools in “Wrongful Convictions Awareness” month.  The Outreach Team also presents at community and religious groups in the Research Triangle.  DLIP’s Outreach Team also uses social media to network with other Innocence Projects. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

Reintegration Team

The goals of the DLIP Reintegration Team are to help recent exonorees and support them as they adapt to life outside prison in addition to raising awareness about the practical and psychological barriers to reintegration. We encourage exonorees to share their experiences; their stories serve to educate the public about flaws in the criminal justice system and some exonorees find the process of sharing therapeutic.  This year, we plan to work together with local and statewide organizations that focus on the needs of recent exonorees.

Policy Team

In the policy team's second year we want to further our influence by reaching out to members of both local and state governments to address some of the issues we've identified. Last year, the Policy team, in conjunction with the Sanford School of Public Policy, hosted the first annual North Carolina Law and Policy Symposium, “Realizing Criminal Justice Reform Together,” focusing on such matters as preventing and rectifying wrongful convictions, reintegration and the pardons system, the “school-to prison pipeline,” pre-conviction reforms, and effective legislative advocacy techniques. The policy team will continue our relationship with the Sanford School and work together towards the second annual symposium.