619-525-1485 JStock@cwsl.edu

*Media interested in covering the Innocence March kickoff and “Dignity for the Dozen Rally” are encouraged to arrive at California Western at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, to give enough time to shoot interviews with participants before the rally begins at noon. Please call Hank Crook at 619-301-5441 if you have any questions.*

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Innocence March Kicks Off This Saturday at California Western School of Law
California Innocence Project attorneys begin march with “Dignity for the Dozen Rally”

SAN DIEGO, April 24, 2013 – This Saturday, April 27, Professor Justin P. Brooks and two staff attorneys from the California Innocence Project kick off the Innocence March at California Western School of Law with a “Dignity for the Dozen Rally” and an 8-mile public march to Ocean Beach.

The California Innocence Project director, along with attorneys Alissa Bjerkhoel and Michael Semanchik, will walk 600 miles from San Diego to Sacramento to protest the incarceration of their innocent clients, bring attention to the cause of wrongful convictions, and present clemency petitions for 12 clients, “The California 12,” to Governor Jerry Brown.

Brooks and the California Innocence Project made international news last May with the exoneration of football player Brian Banks, whose story was recently featured on 60 Minutes. Banks, other exonerees, family members and supporters of the project’s clients, California Western students and staff, and activists are expected to join the march for portions of the 55-day walk across the state.

“There is no rational reason to keep innocent people in prison,” said Brooks. “In each one of these 12 cases there is compelling evidence of innocence. The governor has the power to release them and we will ask him to use that power.”

“Dignity for the Dozen Rally”

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and Professor Justin Brooks will speak at the “Dignity for the Dozen Rally” starting at 12:00 p.m. in the California Western School of Law’s Moot Court, 350 Cedar Street, San Diego, CA 92101. Past exoneree Ken Marsh and family members of “The California 12” will also participate in the event, and will be available to speak to the media.

At around 1:00 p.m., hundreds of supporters are expected to participate in an 8-mile walk from California Western to The Harp, 4935 Newport Avenue, in Ocean Beach. A post-event celebration will begin at The Harp at around 3:00 p.m.

About “The California 12”

At a cost to the state of around $8.5 million, “The California 12” have been wrongfully incarcerated for a combined 190 years. One of the 12, William Richards, remains in prison despite having his conviction reversed in 2009—after the California Innocence Project presented DNA evidence of his innocence—due to an appeal by the prosecutor. Through the Innocence March, organizers hope to raise awareness about wrongful convictions and the incarceration of innocent people, and to secure clemency for the “California 12.”

The March Route
San Diego:

April 27 – Rally at California Western School of Law; Walk to Ocean Beach – 7.5 mi

April 28 – Ocean Beach to Del Mar – 19.20 mi

April 29 – Del Mar to Oceanside – 18.40 mi

April 30 – Rally Day in Oceanside with California Innocence Project Exoneree Adam Riojas

May 1 – Oceanside to San Onofre – 20.16 mi

Orange County:

May 2 – San Onofre to Laguna Beach – 20 mi

May 3 – Rally Day in Laguna Beach

May 4 – Laguna Beach to Huntington Beach – 15.6 mi

May 5 – Huntington Beach to Long Beach – 14.9 mi

Los Angeles:

May 6 – Long Beach to Manhattan Beach – 17.8 mi

May 7 – Manhattan Beach to Santa Monica – 12.24 mi

May 8 – Rally Day in Santa Monica

May 9 – Santa Monica to Malibu – 12 mi

May 10 – Malibu to Neptune Net in Malibu – 10 mi

May 11 – Neptune Net in Malibu to Port Hueneme – 17.6 mi

May 12 – Port Hueneme to Ventura – 12.23 mi

May 13 – Ventura to Foster Park – 9.9 mi

Central Coast:

May 14 – Foster Park to Carpinteria – 16.1 mi

May 15 – Carpinteria to Santa Barbara – 12.7 mi

May 16 – Rally Day in Santa Barbara

May 17 – Santa Barbara to El Capitan State Beach – 20.89 mi

May 18 – El Capitan State Beach to Las Cruces – 20.05 mi

May 19 – Las Cruces to Lompoc – 18.81 mi

May 20 – Rest Day in Lompoc

May 21 – Lompoc to Orcutt – 18.85 mi

May 22 – Orcutt to Bromela – 16.17 mi

May 23 – Bromela to Pismo Beach – 12.58 mi

May 24 – Pismo Beach to San Luis Obispo – 11.10 mi

May 25 – Rally Day in San Luis Obispo

May 26 – San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay – 14.67 mi

May 27 – Morro Bay to Cambria – 20 mi

May 28 – Cambria to San Simeon – 12 mi

May 29 – San Simeon to Ragged Point – 15 mi

May 30 – Ragged Point to Plaskett – 15.4 mi

May 31 – Plaskett to John Little State Natural Reserve – 18.7 mi

June 1 – John Little State Natural Reserve to Posts – 12.5 mi

June 2 – Posts to Monterey – 17 mi

June 3 – Rally Day in Monterey

June 4 – Monterey to Moss Landing – 19 mi

San Francisco Bay Area:

June 5 – Moss Landing to Santa Cruz – 26.8 mi

June 6 – Rally Day in Santa Cruz

June 7 – Santa Cruz to Los Gatos – 21.36 mi

June 8 – Los Gatos to Santa Clara – 10.93 mi

June 9 – Rally Day in Santa Clara

June 10 – Santa Clara to Fremont – 17.2 mi

June 11 – Fremont to San Leandro – 16.3 mi

June 12 – San Leandro to Berkeley – 13.5 mi

June 13 – Rally Day in Berkeley

Berkeley to Sacramento:

June 14 – Berkeley to Walnut Creek – 15.4 mi

June 15 – Walnut Creek to Benicia – 14.0 mi

June 16 – Benicia to Fairfield – 20.7 mi

June 17 – Fairfield to Vacaville – 10.1 mi (Justin’s Birthday Celebration in Vacaville, CA)

June 18 – Vacaville to Davis – 23.6

June 19 – Davis to Sacramento – 14.4 mi

June 20 – Final Walk to Governor’s Mansion, Rally, and Presentation of Petitions to Governor Brown

About the California Innocence Project

Founded in 1999, the California Innocence Project is a California Western School of Law clinical program dedicated to the release of wrongfully convicted inmates and providing an outstanding educational experience for students enrolled in the clinic. The California Innocence Project reviews approximately 2,000 claims from inmates each year and has earned the exoneration of nine wrongfully convicted clients since its inception.

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California Western School of Law is the independent, ABA/AALS-accredited San Diego law school that advances multi-dimensional lawyering by educating lawyers-to-be as creative problem solvers and principled advocates who frame the practice of law as a helping, collaborative profession.  

For the fourth year in a row, California Western was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

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