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West Virginia Innocent Project students attend national conference

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—Third-year law students Natalie Arvizu and Kristin Kearns recently attended the National Innocence Network Conference in Portland, Ore., which provided them with an opportunity to share ideas with and learn from others in the specialized field of post-conviction relief. 

In addition to the education that Arvizu and Kearns received as a part of the two-day conference, they were given the chance to meet numerous exonerees and hear their stories. 

“Seeing all the exonerees on stage reminded me why I do this work,” said Kearns. “They are my inspiration going forward.” 
Arvizu and Kearns also attended the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Post-Conviction Training, which was held the day before the Innocence Network Conference.

“Each lecture gave us the opportunity to not only hear from people with years of experience, but also hear from people with different perspectives on the criminal justice system.” Arvizu said. “There were attorneys, scientists, policymakers, and exonorees all sharing their experiences and knowledge.”

Ultimately, the students learned techniques that will help them obtain post-conviction relief for their clients. In addition, they got the invaluable opportunity to meet people, both attorneys and exonerees, whose lives have been forever changed by wrongful convictions in the criminal justice system.

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