April Higuera

Author - Innocence Advocate

April Higuera is the owner and principal agent of ADH Investigations (based in Reno, NV), specializing in complex, criminal defense investigation of violent crimes on county, state, and federal levels.  She conducts fieldwork investigations and offers consultation nationwide. April also contributes commentary to various blogs and writes informative articles on criminal defense investigation and the criminal justice system to raise public awareness. Her book, Making the Case for Innocence [Sept. 2016], is receiving rave peer and consumer reviews.  Follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/April_Higuera

Dr. Ray Spencer

Exoneree - Innocence Advocate

Dr. Ray Spencer was born in Rosedale, Mississippi in 1948. In 1950 his family moved to Los Angeles, California. He grew up in the streets of Los Angeles trying to survive. After high school he joined the Air Force and became an air traffic controller. Upon being honorably discharged from the military he was hired as one of the first sky marshals in the U.S. He flew exclusively out of New York all over the world to prevent air piracy. He would later transfer back to Los Angeles where he became a federal narcotics agent with U.S. Customs. Dr. Spencer not only worked the cartels down along the mexican border but also operated high speed pursuit boats interdicting large loads of narcotics coming into the west coast. He would later quit federal law enforcement and go to work for the Vancouver, Washington Police Department. In 1985, Dr. Spencer was framed for a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison for 212 years. As told in his book, “Memoirs of an Innocent Man” for the next twenty years he hid his identity as a law enforcement officer in an attempt to stay alive behind penitentiary walls.  Follow Ray's story on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/267521223679686/

Jilly Prather

Innocence Advocate - Ghostwriter

Jilly Prather is an accomplished ghostwriter and true crime author. If you've been accused or convicted of a crime, she can write, or help you write your memoir. A true crime story can bring attention to the falsely accused, and wrongfully convicted, in hopes of finding help to work toward full exoneration, and give you closure. Ghostwriting is an art form that is here to stay. A memoir will be something your posterity can cherish for a lifetime.  Gone in Three Shots: A True Story of Love, Betrayal and Murder, this true crime story will be published later this summer. This ghostwritten book was instrumental in helping one of the authors who was wrongly convicted, and sentenced to 35 years in prison, receive an appeal!
Follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/JillyPrather 

Rachel Sentes

Author - Innocence Advocate

Rachel Sentes is a professional writer and full-time publicist/CEO of gal-friday publicity, based in Vancouver, B.C. Her clients include actors, sports figures, publishers, top tier businesses and dog rescue associations. She specializes in building publicity platforms and garnering media bookings for authors, helping them negotiate their way through the ever-changing maze of the publishing world. Rachel has booked clients on CTV National, BNN,  CNN, The Seattle Times, Global, Shaw, City TV, Vice.com, Truthout Org, Huffington Post, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, NewsTalk 1010, TSN, Bloomberg Radio and The Vancouver Sun, to name a few. Rachel helps authors who are planning to publish (or have just published), and need help with everything from deciding the right publishing path to getting your book into stores or on virtual shelves.  https://twitter.com/msgalfriday

Barry Scheck

Co-founder of The Innocence Project

Barry Scheck was born in Queens, New York City, on September 19, 1949, and earned his law degree in 1974. He soon began doing legal work centered on social justice. Scheck never shied away from high-profile work; defending O.J. Simpson in the famous 1995 murder trial. Scheck’s interest in forensics led him to co-found the Innocence Project.  The Innocence Project has been responsible in whole or in part for exonerating most of the over 300 men and women to be cleared through post-conviction DNA testing. Barry is also a Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; in his over thirty years on the Cardozo faculty, he has served as the Director of Clinical Education, Co-Director of the Trial Advocacy Programs, and Co-Director of the Jacob Burns Center for the Study of Law and Ethics. He is a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Barry has also taught trial practice, appellate advocacy, legal ethics and forensic sciences to judges, lawyers and students nationwide, including instructing at the National College of Criminal Defense Lawyers, NITA, and the NAACP annual training seminar for death penalty lawyers. Prior to becoming a law professor and entering private practice, Scheck was a staff attorney with The Legal Aid Society in the Bronx. He wrote Actual Innocence with Peter Neufeld. 

Lynne Blanchard

Author - Absence of Evidence

Lynne Blanchard recently published her second true crime book, Absence of Evidence — An Examination of the Michelle Young Murder Case. She resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and two sons. She graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry.

Lynne became concerned about the state of the U.S. justice system after following some local trials and began researching cases and advocating for the wrongfully convicted. She is currently doing paralegal work with The Deskovic Foundation for Justice, an organization that seeks to exonerate innocent defendants.  Lynn also wrote Framed – An examination of the Nancy Cooper Murder Case.

Jerome F. Buting

Criminal Defense Attorney - Wrongful Convictions

Jerome F. Buting – Criminal defense law practice focused primarily on defense of serious and complex criminal offenses, both state and federal, trial and appeal. Homicides, sexual assaults, vehicular homicides, drug offenses, white collar, wrongful convictions, expertise in DNA and other forensic sciences. Defense of liberty and constitutional rights in all cases. Many high profiles cases handled discreetly. Author of Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America's Broken System   Designated as Super Lawyer in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

James L. Trainum

Author - How the Police Generate False Confessions

James L.Trainum, 61, author of  ‘How the Police Generate False Confessions’ spent 17 years in homicide for the Metropolitan Police Department, retiring in 2010. He was the lead detective on the high-profile Starbucks triple murder in Georgetown in 1997, which he eventually helped solve in 1999. But in 1994, Trainum had an eye-opening experience when he obtained his own false confession. After a 16-hour interrogation, a woman told him she and two men had killed a man whose body was found, bound and beaten, near the Anacostia River. She was charged with first-degree murder. But she recanted weeks later, and Trainum found proof that she couldn’t have been where she originally claimed at the time of the slaying. The charges were dismissed.

John Ferak

Author - Failure of Justice

John Ferak – A native of Joliet, Ill., his latest true-crime book, FAILURE OF JUSTICE, chronicles the true story of Nebraska’s Beatrice 6, the nation’s largest DNA exoneration case – six wrongful convictions. Ferak is an award-winning investigative journalist with the USA TODAY NETWORK’s Wisconsin Investigative Team based in Appleton, Wisconsin. He is the lead investigative reporter chronicling the Steven Avery murder case, the case featured in the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer. ”Ferak’s books, DIXIE’S LAST STAND and BODY OF PROOF were true-crime best-sellers for WildBlue Press. His first book, BLOODY LIES: A CSI SCANDAL IN THE HEARTLAND, won a national award.

Feuven Fenton

Author - Stolen Years

Reuven Fenton has been covering murder and scandal for the New York Post since 2007, and has earned national recognition for his exclusive reporting on a myriad of national stories. Mr. Fenton was inspired to write “Stolen Years” after covering an unforgettable court hearing in 2013, in which a Brooklyn judge freed David Ranta, who had been wrongfully convicted for murdering a rabbi twenty-two years earlier. The sensational story sparked an investigation into misconduct by both the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and the lead detective in the case. Mr. Fenton is a graduate of Columbia University School of Journalism, and lives in New York City with his wife and two sons. Follow @reuvenfen on Twitter.

Brandon L. Garrett

Professor of Law

Brandon L. Garrett teaches law at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he has been a professor since 2005. His research on our criminal justice system has ranged from the lessons to be learned from cases where innocent people were exonerated by DNA tests, to research on false confessions, forensics, and eyewitness memory, to the difficult compromises that prosecutors reach when targeting the largest corporations in the world.

In 2011, Harvard University Press published Garrett’s book, “Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong,” examining the cases of the first 250 people to be exonerated by DNA testing. That book was the subject of a symposium issue in New England Law Review, and received an A.B.A. Silver Gavel Award, Honorable Mention, and a Constitutional Commentary Award. It is has been translated in Japan and Taiwan, and is China.  In 2013, Foundation Press published a casebook, “Federal Habeas Corpus: Executive Detention and Post-Conviction Litigation,” that co-authored with Lee Kovarsky.  Garrett’s new book examining corporate prosecutions, titled “Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations,” was published by Harvard University Press in Fall 2014.  It is currently being translated in Taiwan and Spain.  Garrett’s law review articles can be downloaded on SSRN

John W. Taylor

Author - Umbrella of Suspicion

John W. Taylor writes true crime primarily focusing on unsolved murders. He has written short pieces on the death of Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others. John wrote and published “Umbrella of Suspicion: Investigating the Death of JonBenet Ramsey” in 2012 and “Isolated Incident: Investigating the Death of Nancy Cooper” in 2014. His interest in the darker side of human nature has compelled him to conduct numerous research and writing projects on various unsolved crimes. He currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Brent E. Turvey

Author -  Criminal Profiling: An Introduction to Behavioral Evidence Analysis

Brent E. Turvey spent his first years in college on a pre-med track only to change his course of study once his true interests took hold. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State University in Psychology, with an emphasis on Forensic Psychology, and an additional Bachelor of Science degree in History. He went on to receive his Masters of Science in Forensic Science after studying at the University of New Haven, in West Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of Criminal Profiling: An Introduction to Behavioral Evidence Analysis, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Editions (1999, 2002, 2008, 2011); co- author of the Rape Investigation Handbook, 1st and 2nd Editions (2004, 2011), Crime Reconstruction 1st and 2nd Editions (2006, 2011), Forensic Victimology (2008) and Forensic Fraud (2013) – all with Elsevier Science. He is currently a full partner, Forensic Scientist, Criminal Profiler, and Instructor with Forensic Solutions, LLC, and an Adjunct Professor of Justice Studies at Oklahoma City University. He can be contacted via email at: bturvey@forensic-science.com.

Craig M. Cooley

Co-Author - Miscarriage of Justice

Craig M. Cooley served as a Staff Attorney with the Innocence Project in New York City for five years, where he represented indigent inmates from across the United States trying to prove their innocence with DNA testing. Mr. Cooley obtained DNA testing for several of his clients that ultimately exonerated 10 innocent prisoners. Prior to joining the Innocence Project, Mr. Cooley served as an Assistant Federal Defender in Las Vegas, Nevada where he represented Nevada death row inmates pursing federal habeas relief.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Cooley received his graduate degree in forensic science from the University of New Haven and his undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh. During law school, Mr. Cooley served as an Investigator with the Office of the State Appellate Defenders, Death Penalty Trial Assistance Division in Chicago, Illinois, where he provided assistance on several cases affected by Governor George Ryan’s 2003 pardons and commutations. Craig is currently a criminal defense attorney in private practice, with offices in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

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Author & Advocate Profiles