2017 Spring Symposium Celebrating the Fifth Anniversary of the Women's Project



March 16, 2018, 1:00-4:45 P.M.

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Thorne Auditorium

Reception immediately following in Thorne Lobby 



The three panel sessions will focus on the unique challenges faced by women in the criminal justice system.

A reception open to all will immediately follow the program.

CLE materials will be available the week of March 12, 2018.


1:00-2:00: The Tyra Patterson Case: Persistence in the Pursuit of Justice


  • Tyra Patterson, who spent 23 years in the Ohio prison system before her recent parole
  • David Singleton, Executive Director of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center and Tyra Patterson’s longtime attorney

Moderator: Andrea Lewis, Staff Attorney, Center on Wrongful Convictions

Tyra Patterson was imprisoned for 23 years, during which she and her attorney pursued multiple avenues of relief through courts, clemency proceedings, parole requests, and social media. They will discuss the persistence and attorney-client relationship required to sustain a multi-year justice campaign.

2:00-3:00: The Need for Forensic Science Reform and How to Get There


  • Lindsay Herf, Executive Director of the Arizona Justice Project
  • Christopher J. Plourd, Presiding Judge of the Imperial County (California) Superior Court
  • Ronald Safer, Partner at Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila and former counsel for CWC exoneree Kristine Bunch

Moderator: Judy Royal, Staff Attorney, Center on Wrongful Convictions

False forensic science is a leading factor contributing to the wrongful conviction of women. The panelists will discuss forensic science reform and the challenges of overturning convictions based on newly available scientific principles.

3:00-3:15: Break

3:15-4:45: Women in Prison and After Prison

Panelists (all formerly incarcerated women):

  • Kristine Bunch
  • Michelle Jones
  • Virginia Lefever

Moderator: Karen Daniel, Director, Center on Wrongful Convictions

All three panelists have survived the prison system, have experienced the challenges of reentry, and are currently engaged in improving the system through research, activism, and public education. Their stories will advance attorneys’ understanding of how to effectively advocate for their women clients.

CLE Materials:

The Tyra Patterson Case: Persistence in the Pursuit of Justice: To Love or Not to Love Seton Hall L RevTyra Patterson - WP letter of support

The Need for Forensic Science Reform and How to Get There: Houck and Budowle Correlation of Microscopic and DNA Hair Comparisons,  NAS Report Chapter 5 Forensic OdontologyNAS Report Hair Evidence ExcerptTX 2016 Bite Mark Panel Meeting Minutes , WashingtonPost 7.18.13 

Women in Prison and After Prison: After Prison, the Exonerated Face a Different Kind of HellMichelle Jones JPOPPsychological Consequences of Wrongful Conviction in WomenWhen Will Kristine Bunch Be Free