Ohio Innocence Project Staff and Board of Advocates

Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law Staff

Headshot of Mark A. Godsey

Mark A. Godsey

Daniel P. and Judith L. Carmichael Professor of Law and Director, Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project, Law Rosenthal Institute for Justice

2M28 College of Law Building


Professor Godsey is a leading scholar, attorney and activist in the Innocence Movement.
In addition to teaching Criminal Law, Evidence and other courses at UC Law, Professor Godsey co-founded and directs the Ohio Innocence Project. The OIP is recognized as one of the most active and successful Innocence Projects in the country, and to date secured the release of 27 individuals on grounds of innocence who together served more than 500 years in prison for crimes they did not commit.
Professor Godsey is also a regular commentator on issues relating to wrongful conviction in both the local and national press, and has appeared nationally on Larry King Live, Dateline NBC, CNN, ESPN, BBC, Forensic Files, and NPR among others. He is frequently quoted in papers and magazines across the country, including The New York TimesNewsweekPeople and the Wall Street Journal. In 2017, Time Magazine profiled his career. His acclaimed 2017 book Blind Injustice:  A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions is currently being made into a TV series and an opera to premiere in June 2019.
Professor Godsey and the OIP have also proposed several significant legislative reforms in Ohio, and worked tirelessly to get them passed into law. In 2010, for example, Governor Strickland signed Senate Bill 77, a law proposed and championed by the OIP that has been called "one of the most important pieces of criminal justice legislation in this state in a century," and a law that makes Ohio a "national model" on reforms to reduce and prevent the wrongful conviction of the innocent.
Professor Godsey has been a leading figure in spreading awareness of wrongful convictions around the world, and with assisting lawyers and scholars in other countries to establish mechanisms for fighting wrongful convictions. Professor Godsey has widely lectured and consulted on the subject in Asia, Africa and Europe. He helped establish the European Innocence Network, on which he currently serves as a board member. The Center for the Global Study of Wrongful Conviction that Godsey directs, a sub-component of the OIP, sponsors an international innocence conference in a different country each year, having thus far sponsored conferences in China, Italy, Ireland and the Czech Republic.
Professor Godsey graduated from the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University and then clerked for Chief Judge Monroe G. McKay of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Salt Lake City, Utah. He then practiced civil litigation and white collar-criminal defense at Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue in Chicago and New York City.
Next, Professor Godsey joined the Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted federal crimes ranging from political corruption to hijacking to organized crime. He received several awards for his performance as an AUSA, including the Director's Award for Superior Performance, presented to him by then Attorney General Janet Reno.
Headshot of Jennifer Bergeron

Jennifer Bergeron

Assistant Professor of Clinical Law, Ohio Innocence Project, Law Rosenthal Institute for Justice

2M99 College of Law Building


Jennifer Paschen Bergeron is an assistant professor of clinical law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law where she carries out the important work of the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP). OIP operates as a Cincinnati Law legal education clinic dedicated to freeing innocent people in prison and preventing wrongful convictions. Professor Bergeron, a licensed attorney, supervises teams of law students who investigate claims of innocence submitted by prisoners. Professor Bergeron has experience representing OIP clients and litigating innocence cases in both federal and state court at the trial level and on appeal. Professor Bergeron teaches classes on wrongful conviction litigation and also serves on the Amicus Committee of the Innocence Network, an affiliation of organizations from around the world dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted, while working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions.
Professor Bergeron is a graduate of Centre College, holds a Masters in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. While a student at Cincinnati Law, Professor Bergeron externed for The Honorable Susan J. Dlott of the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio. She also was a member of Law Review and a Fellow with the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights. After graduation she worked in general litigation at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP. She later joined Ulmer & Berne LLP in the Labor and Employment Group before joining the OIP.
Headshot of Donald R Caster

Donald R Caster

Assistant Professor of Clinical Law, Ohio Innocence Project, Law Rosenthal Institute for Justice

2M99 College of Law Building


Donald graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where he was a member of Moot Court and Law Review and a fellow at the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights. Following a clerkship with a federal district court judge, Donald joined Gerhardstein, Branch & Laufman, a boutique civil rights firm, as an associate.
Donald subsequently opened his own practice, focusing on criminal defense and appellate litigation. He later served in the appellate division of the Butler County Prosecutor's Office before joining the Ohio Innocence Project as an attorney.
Headshot of Brian C Howe

Brian C Howe

Assistant Professor of Clinical Law, Ohio Innocence Project, Law Rosenthal Institute for Justice

2M99 College of Law Building


After graduation, Brian was awarded an Equal Justice Works fellowship representing consumers who faced predatory lending and servicing practices in rural southwest Ohio. He continued this work as a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio before joining the Ohio Innocence Project in 2014.
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Stephanie King

Legal Assistant, Paralegal, Ohio Innocence Project



Headshot of Pierce Reed

Pierce Reed

Policy Coordinator & Systems Liaison , Ohio Innocence Project



Headshot of Mallorie Thomas

Mallorie Thomas

Rosenthal Fellowship Attorney, Ohio Innocence Project



Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law Board of Advocates

Formed in 2013, the Board of Advocates is made up of professionals dedicated to the integrity and growth of the Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law. Board members help raise funds to support OIP's legal work, and they have also provided assistance with Development, Marketing and Public Relations efforts. They work to help raise awareness of OIP in the community and increase the publicity of OIP’s successes and mission. With the help of volunteer consultants, Board members have revised OIP's mission, vision and values, as well as developed a strategic plan that identifies specific objectives, goals, strategies and measures for the organization.

  • Stephen L. Black, President
  • John M. Isidor, Vice-President
  • Kathleen Brinkman, Secretary
  • Gregory E. Bell
  • Joe Brant
  • Kristi Clement Williams
  • Anne Levin DeLyons
  • Dean Gillispie
  • Paul W. Heldman
  • Hon. Nathaniel Jones
  • Aftab Pureval
  • Jennie Rosenthal Berliant
  • Tara Rosnell
  • Cliff D. Schecter
  • Curtis Scribner
  • Richard A. Weiland

Northeast Board of Advocates for the Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law

Formed to provide regional support for OIP in the state, the Board members support OIP’s litigation efforts in Northeast Ohio as well as provide insight into the workings of the Cleveland and Northeast Ohio courts. The board also educates the community about the Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law through seminars, training programs and judicial conferences. In addition, members hope to tap into the philanthropic spirit of Cleveland to expand OIP’s capacity via fundraising efforts.

  • Jacqueline Green, NE Board President
  • Alec Berezin
  • Mark Devan
  • Terry Gilbert
  • Gordon Friedman
  • Judy Lipton
  • Michael Meuti
  • Carmen Naso
  • Jim Petro
  • Robert Tobik
  • Raymond Towler
  • Andrea Whitaker