The Innocence Commission

 The Innocence Commission reviews cases where an incarcerated person asserts that they were wrongfully convicted.  If the Commission, after evaluating all of the available evidence and conducting any necessary re-investigation, votes by a majority to vacate the conviction, the Commission will prepare a findings of fact and conclusions of law memorandum that will serve as the basis to seek to vacate the conviction.  Although the District Attorney retains the final decision-making power on each case, the District Attorney will afford great weight to the determination of the Commission.

The Innocence Commission consists of a five-member volunteer team of experts:

  • Professor Lara Bazelon, Director of University of San Francisco Law School’s Racial Justice Clinic
  • Judge LaDoris Cordell (Ret.)
  • Dr. George Woods, renowned medical expert*
  • Julia Cervantes, San Francisco District Attorney Representative
  • Jacque Wilson, San Francisco Deputy Public Defender

The Innocence Commission is assisted by a full-time, grant-funded staff attorney who works under the supervision of the University of San Francisco Law School’s Racial Justice Clinic.

* Dr. George Woods is currently on leave and Dr. Michael Meade is serving as interim commissioner.

Submit an application for consideration by the Innocence Commission: