2021-2022: Highlights at UC Law

Ohio Innocence Project continues fight for justice

The Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) continued its fight for justice throughout the 2021-2022 academic year. In January 2022, OIP secured the release of Richard Horton, who was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 23 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. After 27 years, charges against Nancy Smith—whose innocence has long been championed by attorneys, law students and staff at OIP—were finally dismissed. In March, a court declared that Isaiah Andrews, who in October was found not guilty of the 1974 murder of his wife, had been wrongfully imprisoned, allowing him to seek damages from the State of Ohio. In May, Mark Godsey, Daniel P. and Judith L. Carmichael Professor of Law and Director of the Ohio Innocence Project, took part in a panel seeking to address wrongful convictions under national and international law at a United Nations (UN) conference. Godsey, who is on the board of directors of the European Innocence Network and has been involved in the international innocence movement, discussed the Innocence movement as it exists now in Europe, Asia and Africa, and explained how a UN declaration of rights could help free more people around the world.

Richard Horton.

Richard Horton with OIP Staff Attorney Brian Howe after his release. Photo provided.

New multidisciplinary Institute focuses on justice transformation

In April, University of Cincinnati Provost Valerio Ferme approved the formation of a new Justice, Law & Information Technology Institute. The three co-directors are Professor J.C. Barnes in UC’s School of Criminal Justice, Professor Hazem Said in UC’s School of Information Technology, and Janet Moore, Professor of Law at the College of Law. The Institute will provide opportunities for College of Law students to intervene in the ongoing criminal justice crisis through interdisciplinary and community-engaged collaborative research and policy analysis. This new work will build on the Institute’s strong foundation of partnerships with Chief Justice O’Connor of the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Ohio Sentencing Commission.

Krafte, Solimine named to the American Law Institute

Michael Solimine, Donald P. Klekamp Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and Lori Krafte ‘98, Partner with Wood Herron & Evans and Adjunct Professor at Cincinnati Law, were both elected to the American Law Institute (ALI). ALI is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and otherwise improve the law.

Michael Solimine.

Michael Solimine

Lori Krafte (Law) is the recipient of the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award.

Lori Krafte

UC Law joins Expedited Pardon Project

The University of Cincinnati College of Law is partnering with the Ohio Justice and Policy Center (OJPC) to expand Governor DeWine’s Expedited Pardon Project and reach more potential pardon candidates in the state of Ohio. The project eliminates administrative hurdles and provides free one-on-one help for qualified citizens seeking legal absolution for past criminal offenses. “This new externship opportunity will enhance UC Law’s role as a national leader in educating future practitioners and policymakers in criminal law and procedure,” said Janet Moore, Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. “Our students will receive practical training and client counseling experience while expanding access to justice in the important but often neglected specialty area of executive clemency.”

Professor Yolanda Vázquez named a visiting fellow at EUI Migration Policy Centre

Law portraits, Yolanda Vazquez

Yolanda Vázquez

Yolanda Vázquez, Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, was named a Visiting Fellow at the Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy. Through the fellowship, Vázquez researched the migration laws and policies developed by the European Union (EU) and Italy to stop the flow of irregular migration from Africa. Specifically, she focused on the ways in which the EU and Italy have turned to neighboring countries in North Africa to enforce its migration laws and analyze the impact of that decision. Her research at EUI informs her study of the U.S./Mexico relationship, exploring the role that race and racism may have contributed to immigration laws and policies.

2021-2022 lectures bring notable experts to Cincinnati Law

The University of Cincinnati College of Law welcomed numerous national legal experts throughout the 2021-2022 school year for its annual lectures and symposia, including the Schwartz Lecture in Torts, the Robert S. Marx Lecture, Constitution Day, and the Distinguished Visiting Professor lecture. You can watch a selection of past lectures on the College’s website.

Celebrating the class of 2022 and our 189th Hooding Ceremony

Our 189th Hooding Ceremony celebrating the class of 2022 marked our first fully-in person ceremony since 2019. 146 degrees were conferred, including 128 juris doctor degrees and 18 LLM (master’s) degrees. The Hooding keynote speaker was Andrew Savage ‘88, Vice President, Deputy General Counsel of Digital Media at Adobe, Inc. Scott E. Knox ‘85 was this year’s recipient of Nicholas J. Longworth, III Alumni Achievement Award.

2022 College of Law Hooding Ceremony

Hooding Ceremony for the Class of 2022. Photo/Joe Fuqua.

2022 Distinguished Law Alumni Award honorees

The UC College of Law honored Katherine B. Blackburn ’89, Gary A. Garfield, Esq. ’81, and the Honorable Alice O. McCollum ’72 as part of the 2022 Distinguished Law Alumni Awards on Friday, April 29, 2022. Read more about this year’s honorees.

Katherine B. Blackburn '89

Katherine B. Blackburn '89 accepts the 2022 Distinguished Law Alumni Award.

Alumni award Gary Garfield.

Gary A. Garfield '81 is introduced.

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The Honorable Alice O. McCollum ’72 accepts the 2022 Distinguished Law Alumni Award.

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Cleveland 19 News: Jury reaches not guilty verdict in retrial...

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Ohio Innocence Project helps Michael Sutton clear his name. Sutton was found not guilty during a retrial before a Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas judge for a 2006 case involving the attempted murder of a Cleveland police officer. The trial's outcome was covered by Cleveland area media including Cleveland News 19 TV station.

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