Skeptic Turned Savior

Mark Godsey, who ran the Innocence Project team that freed Ricky Jackson, began his exoneration career as a skeptic. He begrudgingly agreed to supervise the Kentucky Innocence Project in 2001 while an assistant professor at the Salmon P. Chase College of Law, just a few miles from downtown Cincinnati. Early in his tenure he met with two students who had just visited Herman May, an inmate whose case the innocence team had taken on. “When they told me how they looked into [May’s] eyes and just knew he was innocent, I thought, ‘Come on,’” Godsey recalls ... (READ MORE)

Originally published in TIME Magazine’s Innocent: The Fight Against Wrongful Convictions

Televising trials: in the public good?

The trial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter generated worldwide publicity, and more than 100 journalists vied for a courthouse seat. Yet despite all the coverage, misconceptions and inaccuracies about the trial continue unabated, feeding public anxiety. Many believe that Officer Porter “got off” on criminal charges connected to his role in the death of Freddie Gray because the jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision after two weeks of testimony, arguments and legal instruction. That’s a difficult result for many to appreciate, especially when they didn’t see evidence the jurors saw ... (READ MORE)

Originally posted on The Baltimore Sun on February 10, 2016

Death Investigator: Scalia’s Death Probe ‘Very Troubling to Me’

When Justice Scalia was found dead last Saturday at Cibolo Creek Ranch near Marfa, Texas, authorities sprang into action. They soon learned that the two county justices of the peace, whose job includes acting as the county coroner, were out of town. They reached another official, Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara, who pronounced Justice Scalia dead, over the phone, based on information communicated by those at the ranch. She then had to determine whether to call for an autopsy. After speaking with local and federal law enforcement and, later in the day, Justice Scalia’s personal physician ... (READ MORE)

Originally published on on February 17, 2016


At 90, a Legal Legend Rests His Case

Off the coast of Algiers one day in 1944, a young Navy officer plea-bargained with God as his torpedoed ship, the USS Lansdale, took on water. If he survived, he vowed, he would dedicate his life to public service ... (READ MORE)

Originally published on on December 31, 2009

Beth Karas’ Exclusive Interview with Rachel Wade

I had a rare opportunity earlier this week to sit down with Rachel Wade. After lengthy negotiations, the jail personnel agreed to an in-person meeting and selected a cavernous room that looked like a small warehouse within the jail complex for us to meet. A “contact” visit is a break from the normal procedures. Daily visits by family and friends of the inmates are by video conference only ... (READ MORE)

Originally published on’s InSession Blog on September 3, 2010