Laws of Evidence: How Sound Forensic Science Policy Can Help Prevent Wrongful Convictions


The Innocence Project is a well-known nonprofit organization whose goal is to exonerate the wrongfully convicted. Forty-six percent of its cases involved misapplied forensic science — meaning that a method, technique or analysis was conducted incorrectly. There have been 17 exonerations in Michigan involving misapplied forensic science. Now, in partnership with the Reason Foundation, the Innocence Project is calling for improvements to forensic science and for better transparency and quality control in crime labs. Panelists from the Innocence Project and Reason will discuss how the application of forensic science to criminal prosecutions can be improved by policy change and public education.

A transcript of this event is available here.


Amshula Jayaram is a state policy advocate for the Innocence Project, where she leads state-level campaigns to enact policies and laws that benefit wrongfully convicted individuals, improve public safety and prevent future injustices. Previously, Ms. Jayaram worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and spent a number of a years coordinating the pro bono efforts of private sector law firms.

Lauren Krisai is the director of criminal justice reform at Reason Foundation, a national libertarian, nonprofit organization that publishes Reason Magazine and Reason TV. Her work focuses on a variety of criminal justice policy issues, including sentencing reform, pre-trial reform, drug policy, and more — particularly at the state level. Her work has been cited in a variety of local and state publications as well as The Washington Post and The New York Times. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University.

Julie Baumer was convicted of child abuse in 2005 for injuries sustained by her infant nephew while he was under her care, described by the prosecution as “shaken baby syndrome.” On appeal, brain scans read by some of the world’s leading experts in pediatric head injuries unanimously agreed that the baby had suffered a stroke and not been abused. Her conviction was overturned and though she was re-prosecuted again, Baumer was officially exonerated in 2010. Today she works as a Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker, maintains an active presence in the Innocence Movement, and volunteers with service organizations that assist women and children.

Lunch is free for attendees who RSVP. Please register online here

WHEN: Thursday, January 18, 2018
  11:30 a.m.: Check-in and lunch available
  Noon to 1:00 p.m.: Program with Q&A
WHERE: Radisson at the Capitol
  111 N Grand Ave
  Lansing, MI 48933

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact us at 989-698-1905 or


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