Education and Participation
Students engage with the Project through the Clemency Advocacy Practicum.
The Sentencing Advocacy Practicum is modeled like a traditional law clinic. Students meet once a week and explore the role of sentencing advocacy in state and federal sentencing systems, the factors that influence its quality, and the insights from social scientists that can critique and improve it. The class draws on the wealth of interdisciplinary expertise on the University of Minnesota campus as well as in our local professional community. Most importantly, the students learn by doing—through hands-on involvement in actual pending cases. Working either on clemency petitions or on actual pending sentencing cases, the students get to know a real human being and their family in the cross-hairs of the criminal justice system, and will strategize, research, and develop an effective sentencing/clemency petition. Using a “teaching hospital” format, students then brainstorm each other’s cases, critique the sentencing strategy, and learn from the courtroom experiences.
View the Clemency Advocacy Practicum syllabus.