News - July 2005
St. Louis case reopened 10 years after execution
July 18, 2005
On Thursday, July 14, 2005, Bob Herbert, editorial columnist for The New York Times, turned the spotlight of his column on the case of Larry Griffin, who was executed in Missouri in 1995 for a murder that took place in St. Louis in 1980. In his column titled, "Convicted, Executed, Not Guilty," Herbert explains the problems with the case, and the unusual fact that a detailed reinvestigation was conducted years after execution. The investigation was sponsored by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and led by University of Michigan Law School Professor Samuel R. Gross. New facts were uncovered that now prove that Larry Griffin was innocent of that murder. As a result, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, the chief prosecutor for the jurisdiction in which the underlying crime took place, took the unprecedented step of reopening the official investigation of the case 10 years after Mr. Griffin’s execution and 25 years after the original crime.
This story has also been covered extensively by the media in St. Louis, Missouri, and by the Associated Press and CNN.com. nationally.
Please visit http://law40.adsroot.itcs.umich.edu/michiganlaw/NewsandInfo/griffin-report.pdf for a complete copy of the report by Professor Gross that describes the facts of the Griffin case and the findings of the new investigation.
Professor Gross has long been interested in false convictions and exonerations. Last year he issued a comprehensive study on the topic, Exonerations in the United States, 1989 through 2003, which was recently published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.
University of Michigan Law School Clinic expands services
July 18, 2005
The University of Michigan Law School Urban Communities Clinic has expanded its program to offer free legal services to small, minority and women-owned businesses. The service will begin August 1, 2005.
Roshunda Price, the clinic's director and clinical assistant professor decided to expand the program after understanding the power of small business in Detroit's economy.
"We know that government cannot do it all," Price said. "We need institutions like ours to be a part of the solution to nurture and develop small businesses and thus strengthen our economy."
The Clinic's goal is to enable small businesses to avoid legal obstacles by providing legal services. The Clinic relies on student teams and clinic faculty supervisors to provide those services.
Some of the services include the following:
- Contract review & negotiation
- Real estate purchase and leasing
- Equipment purchases and leasing
- Licensing services
- Joint venture agreements
- Representation in various financing transactions
- Entity selection and formation
- Stockholder and Partnership agreements
- Operating agreements.
The University of Michigan Law School Urban Communities Clinic was created in 1992 by then Professor Jeffrey Lehman, who until recently was the president of Cornell University. The professors wanted to channel the energy and talents of the students to address problems of economic and social justice in the city of Detroit. The program has evolved from assisting non-profit organizations to small businesses. For more information call 313.822.9646.