MORGANTOWN, W.Va.— Attorney Melissa Giggenbach has been named director of the West Virginia Innocence Project Law Clinic at the West Virginia University College of Law.
Staffed by law students, the clinic provides free legal representation for the wrongfully incarcerated with many cases involving new DNA or other scientifically-gathered evidence. The West Virginia Innocence Project also advocates for policy reform, including safeguards for forensic techniques and eyewitness identification.
“The West Virginia Innocence Project is committed to pursuing justice for all,” Giggenbach said. “There are many people serving sentences for crimes they did not commit, and rather than treat them as casualties of the justice system, the West Virginia Innocence Project sees them as the wrongfully incarcerated who deserve their rights to equal justice and due process. Ultimately, our work makes the justice system stronger.”
Giggenbach has been affiliated with the West Virginia Innocence Project since 2013 when she joined the clinic as an adjunct lecturer. Before that, she worked in solo practice and in the Preston County Public Defender Office. She is a 1999 graduate of WVU Law.
Since joining the law clinic, Giggenbach and student attorneys have successfully overturned convictions in cases involving shaken baby syndrome and murder.
The West Virginia Innocence Project receives support from the law firm Wilson, Frame & Metheney, PLLC.