Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law

Ohio Innocence Project attorneys with client during exoneration.

Mark Godsey, OIP co-founder & director (left), and Brian Howe, OIP staff attorney (right), stand with Rickey Jackson (middle) during exoneration proceedings. Jackson spent 39 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

Welcome to the Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law, where our goal is simple: we want to free every innocent person in Ohio who has been convicted of a crime they didn't commit.

The Ohio Innocence Project’s 20th Anniversary Gala was held on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Music Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio. The program featured world-renowned author John Grisham and an afterparty with the Exoneree Band.  It also featured the world premier of the new OIP 2023 video, highlighting the work of the organization and many of the individuals who have been exonerated over the last 20 years.    

We’re proud to be a part of the University of Cincinnati, where we made our home in 2003. Since our inception, our work has led to the release of 42 wrongfully convicted Ohioans, who collectively served more than 800 years behind bars. That makes us one of the top-performing members among the international Innocence Network.

Our work includes helping develop and advocate for lasting criminal justice reform through legislation as well as launching Ohio Innocence Project University, an active network of student groups at colleges across the state.

- Mark Godsey, Co-Founder & Director, Ohio Innocence Project

All donations received by the Ohio Innocence Project are tax-deductible. OIP is held within the University of Cincinnati Foundation’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation status and has the Internal Revenue Service identification number 31-0896555.

All donations received help pay for the costly work involved with the OIP’s mission. For example, it costs OIP $100 for a public record request or transcript; it costs $250 for three hours of private investigator time; and it costs $1,000 to conduct a DNA test on evidence.

Donation by Credit

Donation by Check

Make your check out to the UC Foundation with Ohio Innocence Project in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to the following address:

Attn: Mindy Roy
UC College of Law
PO Box 210040
Cincinnati, OH 45221


If you have questions about other ways to make a gift, please contact Mindy Roy at

We Owe Our Success To:

  • the generosity of Lois and Richard Rosenthal, whose support created the Rosenthal Institute for Justice, our home within Cincinnati Law
  • the ongoing support of Richard Rosenthal, whose $15 million gift in 2016 ranks as the highest in the school’s history
  • hundreds of Cincinnati Law students, including Innocence Project Fellows and volunteers, who have invested thousands of hours of their energy and intellect in righting what are often decades-old wrongs
  • our dedicated staff of Cincinnati Law-trained attorneys, who serve as daily leaders by example—they educate the wrongfully convicted, along with students and the public, in their relentless pursuit of justice
  • Cincinnati Law, a social justice powerhouse house that attracts top talent at the University of Cincinnati, a top-tier urban research university
  • students from across the state of Ohio, who offer support and enthusiasm through Ohio Innocence Project University chapters on their campuses
  • our all-star volunteer Board of Advocates, a group of legal experts, community leaders and others that was formed in 2013 to support our mission, vision and work
  • our corporate and law firm friends who regularly provide financial and legal support to our efforts
  • the tireless dedication of the innocent and their champions, whose strength, courage and resilience inspire us daily.

Information for Students, Potential Clients and Volunteers

Each year, the Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law, which ranks among the most successful projects in the Innocence Network, selects a team of 20 law students, the majority of whom are in their second year, to serve as Fellows.

OIP Fellows and staff spend many hours reading and writing letters and having telephone conversations with inmates about their cases. Prior to actively taking on a case, if not before, the OIP staff and Fellows will meet the inmate in person to discuss the case, the plan for litigation and the expectations of the inmate and the OIP in the case.

From May through August, the Fellows work 40 hours per week and receive a small stipend for their work. During the academic year, the Fellows work approximately 10 hours per week and receive class credit for their participation.

To apply to be an OIP fellow you must be an admitted student to the College of Law or a current first-year student. Instructions to apply can be found on the admitted students fellowship page.

Mark Godsey, Professor, College of Law, teaching class.

At the Ohio Innocence Project, our attorneys and students work hard to help wrongfully convicted inmates get out of prison and get the justice they deserve. You can join our staff and students as an intern to help the wrongfully convicted.


To qualify for an internship with the OIP, you must meet the following criteria:

  • enrolled in an academic program (currently or will be enrolled)
  • access to reliable transportation
  • ability to bring your own laptop is preferred
  • self-motivated and able to work independently
  • must be able to respect the confidential nature of the legal work conducted in our office (you will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement)

Our internship program is unpaid. The time commitment is 10 hours per week. The program runs from semester to semester based on the University of Cincinnati’s academic calendar. Each semester, you must re-apply to be considered but we make no guarantees you will be able to participate in the program for longer than one semester.

Some of the tasks our interns are responsible for include:

  • picking up and dropping off the incoming and outgoing mail
  • filing, scanning and copying
  • organizing files
  • answering the phones
  • general administrative support
  • assist with special projects as needed
  • assist with events as needed

To apply for an internship, please send the following to Stephanie King at

  • resume
  • cover letter explaining why you are interested in our program
  • 2 references
  • if you are trying to receive credit for a class for this internship, please include the requirements and your advisor or program coordinator’s name and contact information

All applications will be reviewed and responded to by the manager of the internship program. If you qualify and we are interested in learning more about you, an interview at the OIP office will be scheduled.

Need Help?

An inmate requesting the assistance of the OIP should complete the Screening Application (pdf). The inmate must FULLY COMPLETE the form and submit it to the address on the form, otherwise it will be returned and no further action will be taken until returned complete. Print out a hard copy of the application, fill out in ink, and return it by mail if you would like the OIP to review your case.

Bearcats Dash & Bash. Check back for the date of the next race.


The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio man wins record-setting $45M in...

November 21, 2022

Dean Gillispie of Fairborn won a $45 million civil lawsuit against former Miami Township police detective, Scott Moore, for actions that lead to Gillispie's wrongful imprisonment. Gillispie was freed after 20 years of imprisonment thanks to efforts of the Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati. The Columbus Dispatch and other Ohio media covered Gillispie's civil lawsuit.


UC's 'Blind Injustice' opera premieres to acclaim, makes...

July 30, 2019

"Blind Injustice," an innovative opera drawing on the lives of six people freed through the work of the Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, premiered July 22 at the world-renowned Cincinnati Opera to national acclaim.

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