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California Western Attorneys Complete Innocence March, Deliver Clemency Petitions
Productive meeting with gubernatorial staff follows rally at the State Capitol
California Innocence Project Director Justin Brooks (center) and attorneys Michael Semanchik and Alissa Bjerkhoel on the steps of the State Capitol to protest the incarceration of 12 innocent clients

SAN DIEGO - Professor Justin Brooks and California Innocence Project attorneys Alissa Bjerkhoel '08 and Michael Semanchik '10 completed the 712-mile Innocence March with a rally on the steps of the California State Capitol on Thursday, June 20.

Following the rally attended by more than 100 supporters, attorneys from the California Innocence Project met with a staff delegation from the office of Governor Jerry Brown to discuss clemency for "The California 12" men and women who remain in prison despite compelling evidence of innocence. The Innocence March called attention to these cases of wrongful conviction and contributing causes such as flawed eyewitness identification and faulty science.

Although the governor's staff did not indicate whether Brown would grant clemency to the members of the California 12, Brooks called the one-hour discussion productive and engaging.

"The governor's staff was receptive to our presentation and interested in the stories of our clients," said Brooks. "We thank them for their time and welcome any questions they might have about these or other cases."

Earlier that day, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court ordered Governor Brown to immediately release 10,000 California inmates as part of a court-ordered plan to ease overcrowding in state prisons. Brooks offered the California 12 for consideration.

"California has been ordered by the courts to reduce its prison population. Why not begin with those we know are innocent," asked Brooks.

PHOTO GALLERIES (click on images to expand)
KICKOFF EVENT

On April 27, 2013, Professor Justin Brooks and attorneys Alissa Bjerkhoel '08 and Michael Semanchik '10 departed from Califoria Western accompanied by a large group of community members and supporters to embark on their 712-mile journey to the state capital.

EVENTS ALONG THE ROUTE

Their Innocence March along the California coast took California Western School of Law's California Innocence Project staff and supporters though the communities of Oceanside, Santa Monica, Malibu, Santa Barbara, San Quentin and Sacramento, among others.

FINAL MARCH AND RALLY

The Innocence March culminated in a rally at the California State Capitol on June 20, featuring exonerees, families, and supporters of the California Innocence Project.

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MEDIA INQUIRIES
Pam Hardy, Director of Communications
California Western School of Law
619-515-1545 • phardy@cwsl.edu
Ian Wright, Communications Coordinator
California Western School of Law
619-515-1541 • iwright@cwsl.edu
WATCH VIDEOS ABOUT THE INNOCENCE MARCH
Watch stories of "The California 12" and video postcards from the Innocence March on the California Innocence Project YouTube channel
LEARN MORE ABOUT
"THE CALIFORNIA 12"

The Walk is Over but the Fight for Freedom Continues

Attorneys from the California Innocence Project presented clemency petitions for "The California 12" to Governor Jerry Brown's office at the conclusion of the Innocence March on June 20, 2013.

Read their stories and learn more about the 712-mile walk for freedom.
ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT
The California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law is a clinical program dedicated to releasing wrongly convicted inmates and providing an outstanding educational experience to students enrolled in the clinic.