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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Famed attorney Barry Scheck to speak at
URI’s Honors Colloquium on Sept. 17

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 9, 2002 -- Barry Scheck, known for his years of landmark litigation which set standards for the use of DNA evidence in courts throughout the country, will speak at the University of Rhode Island on Sept. 17. Scheck is perhaps best recognized as the DNA expert on the O.J. Simpson defense team.

His talk, part of URI’s semester-long public lecture series entitled "Genetic Technology and Public Policy in the New Millennium" will be held in URI’s Barry Marks Auditorium, Room 271, Chafee Social Science Center from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Scheck will address the use of DNA testing in the criminal justice system, which has been advocated by those seeking to defend victim's rights and those who are concerned about the death penalty being applied in a racially and economically biased manner, as well as to those who are innocent.

Scheck will also discuss the Innocence Protection Act, currently before Congress, which will increase access to DNA testing and raise standards and compensation for lawyers representing those accused of capital crimes.

In 1992, Scheck and his colleague Peter Neufeld established The Innocence Project, a clinical program at Cardozo School of Law. In the past decade, the project has either represented or assisted in the representation of 104 men who were exonerated through post-conviction DNA testing and freed from lengthy prison sentences or the death penalty.

Some of the cases undertaken by The Innocence Project are profiled in the book, Actual Innocence: Five Days to Execution and Other Dispatches from the Wrongly Convicted (Doubleday, 2000) written by Scheck, Neufeld, and Jim Dwyer.

Scheck’s expertise is frequently sought after by many federal agencies, including the FBI, and serves as a commissioner of forensic science in New York State. A professor at Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, he serves as director of clinical education for both Trial Advocacy Programs and the Center for the Study of Law and Ethics.

He has served as counsel in a variety of civil and criminal cases, including: the controversial Louise Woodward case; the Hedda Nussbaum case, which brought the issue of battered women to the nation's attention; and the Abner Louima sexual assault case, which became a lightning rod for the issue of police brutality.

Scheck has served as a legal analyst for NBC news on high profile trials such as the Oklahoma City bombing. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

He served as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society in New York for three years before joining the faculty at Cardozo.

Scheck sits on the board of directors for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In 1996 he received that association’s highest award as "The Most Outstanding Criminal Defense Lawyer in America."

An informal reception and book signing will follow the talk.

Major sponsors for the colloquium series are the University of Rhode Island Honors Program, The Providence Journal, The URI Foundation, Theta Chi Fraternity, the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, the Joan Irvine Smith and Athalie R. Clarke Foundation, and the President’s Office. Additional sponsors include URI’s Offices of the Provost and the dean of Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing, Multicultural Center, Student Entertainment Committee, the John Hazen White Sr. Center for Ethics and Public Service, the URI Alumni Association and Matritech.

For a full schedule of events, click on or call Jan Wenzel at

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