Wrongful Convictions Clinic

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The Wrongful Convictions Clinic investigates plausible claims of innocence made by people incarcerated for felonies in North Carolina.

Students in the clinic study the causes of wrongful convictions, including mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, faulty forensic evidence, and “jailhouse snitches.” Together with the Duke Law Innocence Project, a student-run organization with the same mission, student-attorneys work under the supervision of faculty to manage cases and perform a wide range of duties, including interviewing claimants, locating and interviewing witnesses, gathering documentation, writing legal documents and memos, and working with experts. Most clinic cases do not involve DNA.

Many students describe their time in the clinic, working to exonerate individuals incarcerated for crimes they didn't commit, as their most rewarding experience during law school.


Knowing that I can play a role in correcting an injustice and bringing these innocent individuals home to their families — where they should have been all along — motivates me to constantly work harder and to strive to become a better advocate.

Steven Dallas ‘21

Exonerated Clients

Quincy Amerson clinic Quincy Amerson

Quincy Marquies Amerson was exonerated and released on March 13, 2024 after 23 years in prison.

Willie Shaw Willie George Shaw

Willie George Shaw was exonerated and released on Jan. 19, 2021, after nearly six years in prison.

Ronnie Long and Jamie Lau Ronnie Long

Ronnie Long was exonerated and released on August 27, 2020, after 44 years in prison.

Dontae Sharpe Dontae Sharpe

Dontae Sharpe was exonerated on August 22, 2019, after serving 25 years in prison. 

Ray Finch Ray Finch

Charles Ray Finch was exonerated on May 23, 2019, after serving 43 years in prison.

Howard Dudley Howard Dudley

Howard Dudley was released from prison on March 2, 2016, after 23 years of incarceration.

Michael Parker Michael Parker

Michael Alan Parker was released from prison on August 26, 2014, after 22 years of incarceration.

Noe Moreno Noe Moreno

Noe Moreno was released on August 31, 2012, after serving six years in prison.

LaMonte Armstrong LaMonte Armstrong

LaMonte Armstrong was released on June 29, 2012, after serving 17 years in prison.

Scott Pierpoint Scott Pierpoint

Jonathan Scott Pierpoint was released on July 6, 2010, after serving 17 years in prison.

Shawn Massey Shawn Massey

Shawn Giovanni Massey was released on May 6, 2010, after serving 12 years in prison.

Clinic Faculty

Course Description
Call to Action Content

Wrongful Convictions Clinic, 493
The Wrongful Convictions Clinic is an investigative and litigation clinic. With the assistance of supervisors, outside counsel, and other professionals, students work in teams to help free innocent people incarcerated in North Carolina by developing their claims of innocence and, when necessary, pursuing relief on their behalf in state and federal court. Each team of students,  under the supervision of Clinic faculty, undertakes a wide range of work, which can include corresponding and meeting with the client, identifying and interviewing witnesses, developing an investigative and legal strategy for advancing the client’s case, researching and drafting complex complaints and briefs, assisting in court proceedings, and, eventually, assisting the client in transitioning from wrongful imprisonment to freedom.

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.

Contact Us

Wrongful Convictions Clinic
Duke Law School
Box 90360
Durham, North Carolina 27708-0360
Phone: (919) 613-7169
Fax: (919) 613-7262