Chautauqua Lecture Series: Jim & Nancy Petro

Jim and Nancy PetroFormer Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro and his wife, Nancy, co-authors of False Justice – Eight Myths that Convict the Innocent, will lecture on the topic of wrongful conviction at Lakeside Chautauqua on Wednesday, July 23 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in Orchestra Hall.

Frequent exonerations and compensation awards in the millions have raised broader awareness of the need to improve accuracy and fairness in criminal justice.

Consistent with the 2014 release of the book’s revised edition, the Petros will report on progress made in recent years. How are Ohio and other states doing in adopting best procedural practices in criminal justice and in public officials’ recognition of the red flags of wrongful conviction? What has the Innocence Movement achieved in the past few years? What has wrongful conviction taught us, not only about criminal justice, but also about ourselves?

Jim served as Ohio Attorney General from 2003-2007. A graduate of Denison University and Case Western Reserve University School of Law, his legal career began with prosecution of adult felony crimes as an Assistant Prosecutor in the office of Franklin County, Ohio.

His 41-year legal career included litigating cases in venues from Mayor’s Court to the U.S. Supreme Court. Jim also pursued public service and was elected to serve Ohioans as Rocky River Council Member and Director of Law, State Representative, Cuyahoga County Commissioner and Auditor of State before becoming Attorney General.

Jim was the first State Attorney General to intervene on behalf of an Innocence Project client and later became a pro bono lawyer for the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP). He worked with OIP Director Mark Godsey on Ohio’s criminal justice reform law enacted in 2010. Jim received the 2010 Innocence Network Champion of Justice Award. Jim is currently of Counsel with the firm of Shumaker, Look & Kendrick, LLP.

He co-authored False Justice – Eight Myths that Convict the Innocent with Nancy,which was published in 2011.

Nancy, a phi beta kappa graduate of Denison University, retired from a communications and business career before focusing in 2008 on writing and advocacy related to wrongful conviction and criminal justice reform.

In addition to co-authoring the book False Justice, she has written for InBrief, the magazine of Case Western Reserve School of Law; the OIP’s Annual Review (2011 and 2012); and, as a contributing editor, for the Wrongful Convictions Blog, an international forum.


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