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California Innocence Project Founding Director Joins USD Law School

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The founding director of the California Innocence Project, which works to free wrongfully convicted individuals from prison, has joined the University of San Diego School of Law, it was announced today.

Justin Brooks has been named the new Academic Director, LLM in Comparative Law in Spanish and Grant Administrator, Mexican Mediation and Litigation Program. He will also serve as a Professor of Practice in criminal procedure, according to the university.

Brooks helmed the San Diego-based California Innocence Project from 1999 until this year.

Forty people were freed through the organization's work, with perhaps the most-high profile case being that of ex-NFL player Brian Banks, who was convicted of rape and served more than five years in prison before he was exonerated.

In his new role at USD, Brooks will provide leadership for the school's LLM program and administer a national moot court program in Mexico through a grant from the U.S. State Department. ``USD law has shown an incredible commitment to Latin American justice work which makes it the perfect place for me to continue my career,'' Brooks tweeted Wednesday. ``I am so pleased to join their impressive faculty and staff!''

Robert Schapiro, dean of USD's School of Law, said, ``We are thrilled to welcome Justin Brooks to the USD community. Justin will greatly advance our rograms in Mexico and across Latin America. He brings an extraordinary passion for justice and the rule of law, and he has achieved remarkable success in advancing these vital principles in the United States and around the world.''

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