Speakers Bureau

We connect wrongful conviction experts with schools, colleges, companies, and organizations around the world. Our team of inspiring speakers includes people who were incarcerated for crimes they did not commit and staff members each working to correct wrongful convictions and prevent future injustices. Want to book a speaker? Please fill out our online form.

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Speakers Bureau

Featured Speaker

Staff Adnan Sultan

Adnan Sultan is a staff attorney at the Innocence Project. He litigates post-conviction cases nationwide on behalf of individuals seeking access to DNA testing and relief from wrongful convictions, and has instructed law students as part of the Innocence Project clinic at Cardozo.

Prior to joining the Innocence Project, he worked as a staff attorney at The Bronx Defenders for five where he represented thousands of clients charged with misdemeanors and felony crimes from arraignments to trial. In addition, he was a member of the Bronx Defenders’ Forensic Practice Group where he consulted with attorneys and conducted trainings on DNA evidence. Before working at the Bronx Defenders, Adnan was a Prettyman Fellow at Georgetown Law School, where he both represented clients charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes in D.C. Superior Court and supervised third-year law students in Georgetown’s Criminal Justice Clinic. He graduated from American University’s Washington College of Law.

Staff Christina Swarns

Christina Swarns is the Executive Director of the Innocence Project.

She previously served as the president and attorney-in-charge of the Office of the Appellate Defender, Inc. , one of New York City’s oldest institutional providers of indigent appellate defense representation; as the litigation director of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice; as a supervising assistant federal defender in the capital habeas corpus unit of the Philadelphia Community Defender Office; and as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society’s criminal defense division in New York. Christina argued, and won, Buck v. Davis, a challenge to the introduction of explicitly racially biased evidence in a Texas death penalty case, in the United States Supreme Court. Christina was the only Black woman to argue in the 2016 Supreme Court term, and is one of the few Black women to have argued before the nation’s highest court. Christina earned a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from Howard University.

Exonerated and Freed People Cornelius Dupree

“While I will never be able to regain the many years I lost in prison, I hope that my experience will motivate our lawmakers to pass the eyewitness identification reform bill so that others don’t have to suffer like I did.”

On November 23, 1979, a woman was raped and robbed in Texas. Cornelius Dupree was arrested the following month because he resembled a suspect from a different sexual assault and robbery case. However, Dupree did not match the description of the person who committed the  e November carjacking. Nonetheless. Dupree was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 75 years in prison. After spending 30 years of his his life locked up for a crime he did not commit, Cornelius Dupree was released on parole on July 22, 2010. Less than two weeks after his release, initial DNA testing indicated that Dupree was innocent of the crime. Later tests confirmed these results, leading to the trial judge declaring him innocent on January 4, 2011. Post release, Dupree became a member of the Innocence Project’s Exoneree Advisory Council, where he works with both the Innocence Project staff and other exonerees to fight for criminal justice reform.

“I believe in justice, but it doesn’t always come easy, so we must persevere through our troubling times to reach that light at the end of the tunnel, No matter what we are facing in life, never give up.”

In July 1981, a 74-year-old woman was attacked while sleeping in her home in Ogden, Kansas.  Eddie James Lowery, who was 22 years old at the time and a soldier stationed at Fort Riley, was interrogated about the attack after he was involved in a traffic accident near the victim’s house. Lowery was questioned all day without food and was told he did not need a lawyer although he requested one. Investigators supplied Lowery with details of the crime – the house, the manner of entry, the weapon, and specifics about the rape. These details were eventually incorporated into his confession. Although Lowery recanted the statements and his attorney filed a motion to suppress them, the court ruled that the confession was made voluntarily and allowed it into the trial. The confession became the cornerstone of the prosecution’s case. Lowery was sentenced to 11 years to life in prison. In September 2002, DNA test results confirmed that Lowery was indeed innocent. In April 2003, Lowery was exonerated.

On April 23, 2007, Jerry Miller became the 200th person in the United States exonerated through DNA evidence. Though he had been paroled a year earlier, Miller had spent more than 24 years in the Illinois prison system for a rape that he did not commit. His conviction was based solely on eyewitness misidentification. The Innocence Project took on Miller’s case in 2005. After DNA testing excluded Miller, the Cook County State Attorney’s Office joined the Innocence Project and the Cook County Public Defender’s Office in a joint motion to vacate and dismiss Miller’s conviction. Post incarceration, Miller has been a vocal advocate for justice reform, with an emphasis on the weakness of witness identification. He is also a member of the Innocence Project’s Exoneree Advisory Council.

After the Virginia Supreme Court granted a writ of actual innocence, Keith Allen Harward walked out of a Virginia prison on April 8, 2016, after spending more than 33 years of a life sentence for a rape and murder he did not commit.

Despite testifying in his own defense and presenting evidence he didn’t match the victim’s description, Harward was wrongfully convicted of capital murder but was spared the death penalty by the jury. Harward, was convicted primarily on the testimony of two forensic dentists who said that Harward’s teeth matched marks left on the rape victim. During the course of his prosecution six forensic dentists falsely claimed that Harward’s teeth matched a bite mark on one of the victims. New DNA evidence definitively proved Harward’s innocence and pointed to another man as the real assailant. Harward is one of eight people whose story is in the Innocence Project-inspired Netflix docuseries The Innocence Files now available for streaming.

Exonerated and Freed People Marvin Anderson

On July 17, 1982, a young woman was raped by a black man whom she said was a total stranger. At trial, the victim testified in detail regarding the assault and identified Anderson as her assailant. In 2001 DNA results excluded Anderson as the perpetrator and he was granted a full pardon.

On July 17, 1982, a young woman was raped by a black man whom she said was a total stranger. After she reported the crime, a police officer singled out Anderson as a suspect because the perpetrator had told the victim that he “had a white girl,” and Anderson was the only black man the officer knew who lived with a white woman. Because Anderson had no criminal record, the officer went to Anderson’s employer and obtained a color employment photo identification card. The victim was shown the color identification card, along with six black-and-white mug shots, and identified Anderson as her assailant. Within an hour of the photo spread, she was asked to identify the man who had attacked her from a lineup. Anderson was the only person in the lineup whose picture was in the original photo array shown to the victim and the victim identified him in the lineup as well. At trial, the victim testified in detail regarding the assault and identified Anderson as the man who attachked her. An all white jury convicted Anderson on all counts and he was sentenced to two hundred and 10 years in prison. In 2001, after requests for DNA testing were denied, the Innocence Project, in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, finally won access to DNA testing. The results excluded Anderson as the person who committed the crime, and when it was run through Virginia’s convicted offender DNA database, it matched two people who were incarcerated. On August 21, 2002, Virginia Gov. Mark Warner granted Anderson a full pardon. Following his release, Anderson served as chief of the Hanover, Virginia Fire Department, where he oversaw a team of 30 people. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Innocence Project and has three children—two sons and a daughter.

Exonerated and Freed People Michelle Murphy

On September 12, 1994 Michelle Murphy’s 15-week-old son was brutally stabbed to death. Murphy, just 17 at the time, was in her apartment with her new son and other child on the night of the murder. Murphy later woke up and discovered her child’s body in the kitchen, and immediately went to a neighbor and called the police.

The police interrogated Murphy for several hours, and coerced her into claiming that she accidentally killed her baby when she knelt down to pick up a knife. At trial, the prosecution falsely implied to the jury that blood recovered from the scene matched Murphy’s blood type. Subsequent DNA testing of crime scene evidence pointed to an unknown male as the real perpetrator. In the course of representing Murphy, lawyers also uncovered other evidence pointing to Murphy’s innocence that was known to the prosecution at the time of trial but never disclosed to the defense. She was exonerated in September of 2014, almost 20 years to the day that she tragically lost her son.

Staff Ngozi Ndulue

Ngozi Ndulue is the Special Advisor on Race and Wrongful Conviction for the Innocence Project.

Ngozi provides leadership and expertise on racial justice, equity, bias and discrimination and their impact on the functioning of the criminal legal system and, particularly, wrongful conviction. Prior to joining the Innocence Project, Ngozi was the Deputy Director of the Death Penalty Information Center where she conducted original research, supervised data collection and analysis, and led organizational development initiatives. Throughout her legal career, Ngozi has focused on the intersection of racial justice and the criminal legal system, engaging in litigation, policy research, coalition building, and advocacy. From 2016 to 2018, Ngozi served as Senior Director of Criminal Justice Programs at the national NAACP. She also worked at the Ohio Justice & Policy Center (OJPC) in Cincinnati and as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Arizona Capital Habeas Unit. Ngozi has a law degree from Yale Law School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Staff Robyn Trent Jefferson

Robyn Trent Jefferson is a Paralegal in the Innocence Project’s Post Conviction Litigation Fellow program, advocate, and mentor.

Robyn enjoyed a diverse career as a litigation and real estate paralegal for more than 34 years before joining the Innocence Project. A born advocate, she has always been passionate about effecting change for those who are, and have been, wronged and, in the last 10 years, has had more opportunities to dedicate more of her time in pursuit of much-needed reform.

Staff Stacey Anderson

Stacey Anderson is the State Policy Legal Fellow for the Innocence Project.

Stacey is responsible for in-depth legal research, including 50-state comparisons of key provisions in criminal justice statutes and case law. Prior to joining the Innocence Project, Stacey was a Marciano Legal Fellow with the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (“RAINN”) where she did legal research and legislation drafting focused on sexual violence response, Title IX, and constitutional law. Stacey is a proud graduate of Northeastern University, in Boston, and earned her J.D. from Widener University Delaware Law School. While in law school, Stacey served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chair of the National Black Law Students Association. Stacey is passionate about the Innocence Project’s mission and believes public policy is the root to manifest change.

Staff Tebah Browne

Tebah Browne is the Forensic Science Policy Specialist for the Innocence Project.

Tebah assists the Policy Department with policy work that focuses on the reliability, validity, and regulation of forensic science techniques and technology. Prior to joining the Innocence Project, Tebah worked at the Legal Aid Society in its DNA unit as the in-house scientist and DNA analyst. Tebah graduated from John Jay College with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Forensic Science with concentrations in Molecular Biology and Toxicology. Tebah is currently pursuing a PhD. in forensic investigative sciences at Oklahoma State University, where her dissertation focuses on the implementation, regulation, and education of forensic science in developing nations.

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