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SEALS Discussion Group on Innocence: Proposals Sought

The Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) annual conference will include a discussion group entitled “Innocence.”  The discussion group is currently scheduled to occur on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 from 3:15-6:15pm.  The discussion group topic is described as follows:

Innocence is an issue that pervades various areas of research and influences numerous topics of discussion within the criminal justice system.  What does innocence mean, particularly in a system that differentiates between innocence and acquittal at sentencing.  What is the impact of innocence during plea bargaining?  How should we respond to growing numbers of exonerations?  What forces lead to the incarceration of innocents?  Has an innocent person been put to death and, if so, what does this mean for capital punishment?  As these and other examples demonstrate, the importance and influence of the innocence issue is boundless.  This discussion group will bring criminal law and criminal procedure scholars together to discuss the relevance of innocence to their diverse areas of research.  The discussion group will also consider the role of innocence in the criminal justice system more broadly and examine where the innocence issue might take us in the future.

The moderators would like to ensure new voices in criminal law and criminal procedure are represented during the discussion.  Therefore, we seek proposals for participation from law scholars with five or fewer years of full-time teaching experience (not counting the 2014-2015 academic year).  To be considered for participation in the discussion group, please send an email to Lucian E. Dervan ( and Russ Covey ( by 5:00pm (EDT) on April 15, 2015.  In the email, please include contact information and a brief paragraph description of the relevance of innocence to your research areas.

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