The South Carolina Innocence Initiative will host South Carolina's first Innocence & Justice Conference on May 3, 2024 on the campus of Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. This conference brings together leaders in the legal arena to examine the causes, challenges, and remedies associated with cases of innocence and wrongful conviction. It will focus on client advocacy, safeguards to prevent wrongful conviction, strategies to investigate cases post-conviction, and a path forward to reimagine innocence efforts in South Carolina. This year’s conference theme is Charting the Course.

This event has been approved for 7.00 CLE credits through the South Carolina Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.
Wofford College
Spartanburg, SC
Date & Time
May 3, 2024
8:15am - 5:15pm
Conference Schedule
Continental breakfast and registration
Dawn McQuiston, Ph.D., Founder & Director, South Carolina Innocence Initiative

Opening Remarks
Zach Merritt, MLB Law, LLC, Rock Hill, SC
Keynote Address: Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System
Chris Fabricant, Director of Strategic Litigation, Innocence Project
Screening Claims of Innocence and Leveraging Pro Bono Relationships
Tiffany Bush, Georgia Innocence Project
10:30-10:45AM - COFFEE BREAK
Panel Discussion: Safeguards for Preventing Wrongful Convictions
Adair Boroughs, U.S. Attorney, District of SC
James Morton, Morton & Gettys, Rock Hill, SC
David Pascoe, Solicitor, First Judicial Circuit of SC
Jennifer Wells, KD Trial Lawyers, Spartanburg, SC
Moderated by: Dayne Phillips, Columbia, SC
12:00-1:00pm - lunch
Afternoon Welcome
Nayef Samhat, Ph.D., President of Wofford College

The Sad Case of Richard Charles Johnson
Costa Pleicones, Former Chief Justice, South Carolina Supreme Court
Fernando Bermudez shares his story of wrongful conviction and exoneration
Interviewed by Craig Melvin, NBC News Anchor, TODAY

Mr. Bermudez spent 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He was exonerated and released in 2009.
2:45-3:00pm - coffee break
Truth In Justice - Reliably and Efficiently
Chris Mumma, Executive Director, North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence
Models for Examining Innocence Claims: 
Innocence Projects, Conviction Integrity Units, Law School Clinics, and Innocence Inquiry Commissions

Aimee Maxwell, Chief Senior Assistant District Attorney, Fulton County DA’s Conviction Integrity Unit
Clare Gilbert, Executive Director, Georgia Innocence Project
Chris Mumma, Executive Director, North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence
5:15-6:15 - Cocktail reception
Keynote Address: Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System
Chris Fabricant, Director of Strategic Litigation, Innocence Project

As the Director of Strategic Ligation, Chris Fabricant leads the Innocence Project's Strategic Litigation Department, whose attorneys develop and execute national litigation and public policy strategies to address the leading causes of wrongful conviction. Fabricant is one of the United States’s leading experts on forensic sciences and scientific litigation. He is a former longtime public defender and law professor, frequently serves as a public speaker on law reform issues, and is widely published in both legal scholarship and in mainstream media. In his new book, Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System, Fabricant examines the role that faulty scientific evidence has in continuing and strengthening an unjust and racial biased criminal legal system.
Speaker Materials
Materials provided by speakers are available HERE.
Conference Registration
The registration fee includes continental breakfast, snacks, coffee, lunch, cocktail reception, and all programming.

General Admission:
- Professional (Legal Community, Faculty, etc.) - $125
- Non-Profit Organization Employees and Wofford alumni - $95

Discounted rate for the public: $55

Students (non-Wofford): $35

Wofford Students/Staff/Faculty - Free

**There will be no on-site registration. All attendees must pre-register.**
Conference Venue & Hotel
All conference events will take place in the Harley Room in the Richardson Physical Activities Building at Wofford College. Parking is free. Find a campus map HERE.

A block of hotel rooms is reserved at the Spartanburg Marriott Hotel located at 299 N. Church St, Spartanburg, SC, 29306. A rate of $179/night + tax has been negotiated for conference attendees for May 2 and May 3, 2024. Please make your hotel reservation using THIS LINK. The last day to book using the group rate is April 11, 2024.  The hotel is one mile from the conference venue and is a 15-20 minute walk.
Contact Dr. Dawn McQuiston ([email protected]) with any inquiries about the conference.
Thank you to our generous co-sponsors!
Office of the President, Wofford College
Rich Williams '93
Ryan Beasley Law, Greenville, SC
Office of the Chaplain, Wofford College
E.K. Hardin Pre-Law Society, Wofford College
South Carolina Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers

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