The Medill Justice Project, founded at Northwestern University in 1999, is an award-winning investigative journalism enterprise that examines potentially wrongful convictions, probes national systemic criminal justice issues and conducts groundbreaking research. As journalists, we advocate only for the truth.

–Prof. Alec Klein, director of The Medill Justice Project

North Carolina Man to Be Released After Nearly 40 Years

A three-judge panel vacated the life sentence of Willie Womble after a co-defendant came forward with information that pointed to Womble’s innocence in a 1975 robbery and murder case. Read the full story here.

New York Man Freed After Nearly 30 Years in Prison

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson asked the judge to throw out David McCallum’s conviction after a review of the 1985 murder case revealed signs of a false confession. Read the full story here.

Wrongly Convicted California Woman Freed

A Los Angeles County judge overturned Susan Marie Mellen’s murder conviction, which was based on witness testimony, after Mellen served 17 years of a life sentence in prison. Read the full story here.

Texas Inmate Who Served Time on Death Row Freed

Convicted of a 2005 murder he didn’t commit, Manuel Velez was freed from prison after new evidence pointed to his innocence. Read the full story here.

Texas Inmate’s Retrial in Arson Case Begins

After serving more than 25 years in prison for an arson conviction, Ed Graf was granted a retrial due in part to new understandings in fire science. Read the full story here.

In the Hole

In the Hole

Kenny “Zulu” Whitmore fights against what he calls cruel and unusual punishment after 35 years in isolation as solitary confinement comes under greater scrutiny in the United States. Read the full story here.

Iowa Prisoner Fights Conviction in Federal Court

Iowa Prisoner Fights Conviction in Federal Court

In what may be his last chance at freedom, an Iowa inmate is challenging his conviction in federal court based in part on information published as part of a Medill Justice Project investigation. Read the full story here.

Panther Proof

Panther Proof

Today, there is confusion about the Black Panther Party, including what the party stands for and whether it still exists. Read the full story here

Photo Essay: Panther Tracks

Photo Essay: Panther Tracks

Billy X. Jennings, a former Black Panther and the party’s de facto historian, presents remnants from the Black Panther Party’s heyday. View the photo essay here.

Special Cook County Unit Declines to Reinvestigate Chicago Man’s Murder Case

Special Cook County Unit Declines to Reinvestigate Chicago Man’s Murder Case

A prominent attorney appealed to a unit created to reinvestigate criminal convictions to review the case of Donald Watkins, a Chicago man whose conviction was investigated by The Medill Justice Project. Read the full story here.

October 2014

In October 2014, the Associated Collegiate Press named The Medill Justice Project a finalist for the Online Pacemaker, its highest honor awarded to online college student publications.

September 2014

In September 2014, the International Academic Forum named Alec Klein, the director of The Medill Justice Project, the keynote speaker for MediAsia, the Fifth Annual Asian Conference on Media and Mass Communication 2014, in November in Osaka, Japan.

September 2014

In September 2014, the Associated Collegiate Press named The Medill Justice Project’s photo a finalist for its Photo Excellence awards in the general news picture category.

September 2014

In September 2014, the Associated Collegiate Press named The Medill Justice Project a finalist for “Multimedia Story of the Year” in the news category for our shaken-baby syndrome documentary.

August 2014

In August 2014, College Media Association named The Medill Justice Project a Pinnacle Award finalist in “Best Investigative Story” for our Iowa murder investigation.