Student Volunteers and Professor Receive CDAM Justice for All Award

Stuart Friedman, CDAM award committee chair; Linda Borus, SADO chief investigator; Michael Mittlestat, SADO attorney; Marilena David-Martin, SADO attorney; Peter Van Hoek, SADO attorney; and Alan Gershel, Cooley Law School professor. Photo by John Meiu, courtesy of Detroit Legal News Publishing LLC

Stuart Friedman, CDAM award committee chair; Linda Borus, SADO chief investigator; Michael Mittlestat, SADO attorney; Marilena David-Martin, SADO attorney; Peter Van Hoek, SADO attorney; and Alan Gershel, Cooley Law School professor. Photo by John Meiu, courtesy of Detroit Legal News Publishing LLC.

March 19, 2014 - Cooley Law School Professor Alan M. Gershel, along with Cooley student volunteers, received the Justice for All Award at the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan’s (CDAM) annual awards on Friday, March 7. They were honored for their investigation into convictions that arose from evidence presented by the discredited and now-closed Detroit Crime Lab Unit.

Within a span of five years, Cooley students helped review 1,043 convictions that lead to five new trials. These trials resulted in one exoneration and two individuals being released from prison.

“This award honors the extraordinary efforts made by the recipients to ensure the integrity of the Michigan Judicial System,” said Stuart Friedman, CDAM board member and award committee chair. “When faced with the misconduct within the Crime Lab, these courageous individuals stepped up and took the necessary actions to review potentially flawed convictions and then acted to obtain justice when violations were identified.“

Along with Gershel and Cooley’s students, the CDAM honored others involved with the review. Those also receiving honors included State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) attorneys Marilena David-Martin, Michael Mittlestat, Peter Van Hoek, Hon. Kim McGinnis, attorney Daniel Signs, and SADO Chief Investigator Linda Borus.


About Cooley Law School: Celebrating 40 years of excellence, the Thomas M. Cooley Law School is a private, nonprofit, independent law school accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. Cooley has provided its more than 18,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world. Cooley offers its Juris Doctor program, Joint Degree programs, and Master of Laws programs three times a year with enrollment in January, May and September. Cooley Law School has campuses across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, and in Tampa Bay, Fla.

 

Highlights

Cooley Law School’s Professor Alan M. Gershel and Student Volunteers Investigated Convictions Based on Invalidated Evidence.

Over 1,000 Cases from Discredited Crime Lab Reviewed.

5-Year Project Resulted in 5 New Trials, 2 Prison Releases, 1 Exoneration.


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