March 27, 2023

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm, Eastern Time

Let's Talk Wrongful Convictions with Dan Medwed and Sean Ellis

Barrister's Hall, Boston, Massachusetts

Join us for a conversation with Professor Dan Medwed and advocate Sean Ellis on wrongful convictions, the justice system’s perpetuation of them, and their enormous impact on convicted individuals and their community.

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In Barred, legal scholar and Northeastern University Professor Daniel S. Medwed argues that our justice system’s stringent procedural rules are largely to blame for the ongoing punishment of the innocent. Those rules guarantee criminal defendants just one opportunity to appeal their convictions directly to a higher court. Afterward, the wrongfully convicted can pursue only a few narrow remedies. Even when there is strong evidence of a miscarriage of justice, rigid guidelines, bias, and deference toward lower courts all too often prevent exoneration.

Sean K. Ellis, spent over 20 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. In 1995, at his third trial, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sentenced Sean Ellis to life in prison for the 1993 robbery and murder of Boston Police Detective John J. Mulligan. He always maintained his innocence, and in 2015 Suffolk Superior Court Judge Carol Ball overruled his convictions and freed him. Judge Ball found that “justice was not done” at his trial due to police corruption and prosecutors’ misconduct. But this was not the end – the Commonwealth vowed to try him a fourth time. Finally, in December 2018, the Suffolk County District Attorney dropped two of the charges and in 2021 he was fully exonerated. Sean has devoted his life to helping his community, telling his story, and advocating for criminal justice reform.

This event is hosted by the American Constitution Society BU Chapter, fully funded by ACS National, and open to the public. Barrister's Hall is located on the first floor of BU Law (765 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215). Please reach out to BU ACS at with any questions!