September 30, 2021

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Eastern Time

International Wrongful Conviction Day: A Conversation with Exoneree Walter Forbe


In honor of the eighth annual International Wrongful Conviction Day, the ACLU, ACS, Crim Law Society, Journal of Race & Law, M for the People, and OPIS present: A Conversation with Exoneree Walter Forbes.

In 1982, Walter Forbes was a young black college student from Jackson, Michigan who was suddenly arrested, charged, and wrongfully convicted of arson and murder. Walter spent the next 38 years of his life fighting to clear his name. The Michigan Innocence Clinic at MLaw investigated and litigated Walter's case for nearly a decade, finding remarkable new evidence that proved Walter's innocence and pointed to an alternate suspect. After a multi-day evidentiary hearing (held over Zoom during the 2020 COVID-related court closures), Walter's conviction was thrown out, and the prosecution subsequently dismissed all charges. Walter was fully exonerated and released in December 2020.

After an introductory presentation by Professor Imran Syed (Co-Director of the Michigan Innocence Clinic), Walter will speak briefly and answer questions about his case and his life before, during, and after his wrongful conviction. 

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The Michigan Innocence Clinic, the first exclusively non-DNA innocence clinic in the country, has been at the forefront of litigating challenging cases of wrongful conviction since its founding in 2009. The MIC has succeeded in winning the release of 27 people who had been wrongfully convicted in Michigan, serving sentences ranging from a few months to life without parole. The MIC is a full-year clinical program at the law school, and it accepts 20-24 new students during the February registration cycle (for the following fall and winter semesters).