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Syed, Imran

Clinical Assistant Professor of Law
Michigan Innocence Clinic

3150 South Hall

Imran Syed, '11, is a clinical assistant professor of law. He is the assistant director of the Michigan Innocence Clinic, and teaches a seminar on forensic science. Professor Syed graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in political science before going on to Michigan Law. While in law school, Professor Syed worked for two years in the Innocence Clinic as a student attorney and, upon graduation, served as a clinical fellow and staff attorney in the clinic for three years. As part of teaching in the Innocence Clinic, Professor Syed has supervised students investigating and litigating a wide variety of cases, including several of the clinic's forensic science-based cases. Having litigated several arson wrongful convictions that were based on outdated fire science, Professor Syed also has coauthored (along with Innocence Clinic colleague Caitlin Plummer) articles discussing the novel litigation strategies needed to address wrongful convictions based on scientific evidence that is valid when used, but later comes to be repudiated. He also has spoken and written about a variety of topics related to wrongful convictions, such as compensation for exone​rees, the fallacies of eyewitness testimony, and the need for reform in Michigan's system of public defense. In 2014, Professor Syed wrote and produced a documentary film, The Price of Providence, about one of the Innocence Clinic's wrongful conviction cases.

Recent Publications

co-author.""Shifted Science" Revisited: Percolation Delays and the Persistence of Wrongful Convictions Based on Outdated Science." Caitlin Plummer, co-author. Clev. St. L. Rev. 64, no. 483 (2016): 483-518.​​

​"Doubly Wronged in Detroit." Slate (December 12, 2013).
Full Text: WWW

​"'Shifted Science' and Post-Conviction Relief." Caitlin Plummer, co-author. Stan. J. C. R. & C. L. 8, no. 2 (2012): 259-97.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN



Presented "Innocence and Capital Punishment," Amnesty International panel presentation, University of Michigan-Dearborn, March 2014.

Featured in "Exoneration Mission: Attorney at Innocence Clinic Films Documentary About Case," Detroit Legal News, February 2014.

Presented "The Michigan Innocence Clinic, Wrongful Convictions, and the Legislative Process," University of Michigan School of Education, February 2014.

Presented "The Arson Innocence Case of Victor Caminata," University of Michigan Law School, September 2013.

Guest speaker, "Successes of the Michigan Innocence Clinic," Reality Strikes, KATS Radio, Detroit, May 2013.

Presented "Litigating Shifts in Arson Science," Innocence Network Conference, Charlotte, NC, April 2013.

Presented "Screening Non-DNA Cases," panel presentation, Innocence Network Conference, Charlotte, NC, April 2013.

Presented "Forensic Science and Wrongful Convictions," Plymouth-Canton Educational Park, Canton, MI, March 2013.

Presented "Wrongful Convictions and the Importance of Thorough Investigations," Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Detroit, December 2012.

Featured in "When Science Fails Us & We Fail Justice: A Conversation About the Tragic Case of David Gavitt," Cooley Law Review: In the Community, October 2012.

Presented "They Didn't Do It: True Stories of the Innocence Project," Northville District Library, Northville, MI, October 2012.

Presented "The Michigan Innocence Clinic, Wrongful Convictions, and the Legislative Process," University of Michigan School of Education, September 2012.

Guest speaker, "Arson Cases and the Michigan Innocence Clinic," Your Voice with Angelo Henderson, News Talk 1200, Detroit, June 2012.