Criminal Justice Program Offers Prestigious Practicum Experience

Posted Sunday, June 20, 2021

When someone is convicted of a crime, the automatic assumption is that they are guilty. However, sometimes the “guilty” party isn’t actually guilty. The Innocence Project is a world renowned organization that is devoted to helping wrongly convicted victims in the court system be released. The organization helps those who have been a victim of unreliable jailhouse informants, inadequate defense, misused forensic evidence, a lack of DNA testing, false confessions, and eyewitness misidentification.

Adrian College first became involved with the Innocence Project with the help of Professor Goetting, who was an intern himself for the organization while a student at Cooley Law school. Professor Goetting recognized the immense benefit of giving students the opportunity to get hands-on experience with a prestigious organization such as the Innocence Project, so he reached out to his alma mater and developed a program where graduate students can get real-world experience in the criminal justice field.

Professor Goetting commented on the multiple advantages students receive when interning with this program: “It allows the students to work on actual DNA exoneration cases, use the latest technology, and work with lawyers on real cases that can free innocent people who have been convicted of rape and murder. The students get the chance to perform meaningful, real-world work.”

One Adrian College graduate student, Kevin Curley, recently received the honor of being accepted as an intern with the Innocence Project. After speaking with Professor Goetting, Kevin realized what a great opportunity this was. “I believe the most rewarding aspect has been the mere exposure to the field of law. Previously, I had to learn about wrongful convictions via lectures and readings. Now, I get to work on actual cases. This opportunity is furthering my knowledge on wrongful convictions and is allowing me to work alongside passionate individuals who have pushed me to think outside the box. I believe it is making me a more knowledgeable individual in terms of the different aspects of Criminal Justice.” Dean Brame, Kevin’s internship supervisor, shared the following: “We certainly enjoyed having Kevin. He has set a standard that we now have to maintain.”

Kevin Curley is the fourth student from Adrian College that has been able to work with the Innocence Project. Professor Goetting intends on expanding this program so more Adrian College students are able to take advantage of this opportunity. Hannah Roegner and Jake Witt will be succeeding Kevin at Cooley this summer.

If you are interested in working for the Innocence Project, feel free to contact Professor Goetting. For more information about the Innocence Project, please go to

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