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Cooley Innocence Project and Exoneree Gilbert Poole to Participate in Riverwalk Theatre Talkback with 'Exonerated' Cast

Cooley Law School’s Innocence Project will participate in Riverwalk Theatre’s Talkback events throughout the theater’s production of “The Exonerated.” Tracey Brame will lead the talkback discussion on Saturday, Feb. 17, while Marla Mitchell-Cichon will lead the discussion on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Brame is the director of Cooley’s Innocence Project and associate dean of experiential learning and practice preparation, while Mitchell-Cichon is a distinguished professor emeritus, and counsel to the Cooley Law School Innocence Project.

“The Exonerated,” by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, tells the stories of five men and a woman, all of whom were wrongly sentenced to death for murders that they did not commit. Between them, they spent over 100 years on death row watching their fellow inmates die in the electric chair, while awaiting their own imminent deaths. The show is directed by Alan Greenberg and runs Feb. 15-18 and 22-25 at Riverwalk Theatre, 228 Museum Dr., Lansing. 

Brame (right) and Mitchell-Cichon (left) will lead the post-performance Talkback discussion on Feb. 17 and Feb. 24. The show will start at 8 p.m., with the talkback at about 9:30 and conclude at or shortly before 10 p.m.  Cooley Innocence Project exoneree Gilbert Poole (center), who spent 32 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, will join the discussions for both performances. David Williams (back row) was a past student and attorney with the Cooley Innocence Project. 

Innocence Project with Gilbert Poole

The Cooley Innocence Project is part of the Innocence Network which has been credited with the release of over 375 wrongfully convicted prisoners, mainly through the use of DNA testing. It is the only post-conviction DNA innocence organization in Michigan. Since its inception, the office has screened over 6,000 cases and is responsible for the exoneration of nine individuals: Kenneth Wyniemko (2003), Nathaniel Hatchett (2008), Donya Davis (2014), LeDura Watkins (2017), Kenneth Nixon (2021), Gilbert Poole (2021), Corey Quentin McCall (2021), George DeJesus (2022), and most recently, Louis Wright (2023), who spent 35 year wrongfully imprisoned. Additionally, the Cooley Innocence Project also helped to exonerate Lacino Hamilton, Ramon Ward, Terance Calhoun, and Crystal Mulherin.

About Cooley Law School: Cooley Law School was founded on a mission of equal access to a legal education and offers admission to a diverse group of qualified applicants across the country. Since the law school's founding in 1972, Cooley has provided a modern legal education to more than 21,000 graduates, teaching the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world. An independent, non-profit law school, accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Cooley holds classes year-round at its Michigan and Florida campuses.

Feb 09 2024