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The Sobering Work of Righting Wrongful Convictions

November 2016

James Egan

BYU Law School student James Egan recently finished his yearlong fellowship at the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center (RMIC), an organization that works to prevent and correct wrongful convictions. Operating in Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, RMIC provides free legal services to individuals with plausible claims of innocence. It also advocates for criminal justice reforms relating to wrongful convictions.

Egan spent much of his time with RMIC coordinating with partnering law firms on ongoing appeals and assisting in investigations. Describing his experience, Egan says, “There’s rarely a dull moment. The work is sobering, exciting, and challenging - and there’s a lot of it. I wish more BYU students knew about the clinic and fellowship. RMIC could definitely use their help.”

Egan, who is BYU’s first Nelson Galbraith Fellow (a donor-funded grant given to students who pursue careers in preventing wrongful convictions), learned about this program halfway through his second year of law school when the school hosted a forum at which a man shared experiences related to serving 24 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Egan took a course on wrongful convictions at the law school the next year and now hopes to forge a career working on issues of criminal justice.