Toggle menu

Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice


Ohio Innocence Project

The Rosenthal Institute for Justice was established at the UC College of Law thanks to the generosity of Lois and Richard Rosenthal. The primary component of the UC law school's Rosenthal Institute for Justice is the Ohio Innocence Project, which was founded in 2003. Harnessing the energy and intellect of law students as its driving force, the OIP seeks to identify inmates in Ohio prisons who are actually innocent of the crimes they were convicted of committing. Innocence is often determined by DNA testing, but can include other types of new evidence such as new witnesses, new expert testimony, or evidence of police misconduct. Once an inmate's innocence has been established through investigation, the OIP sends the case back to court and litigates in the hope of obtaining the inmate's freedom. Innocence Projects across the country have freed more than 250 wrongfully convicted inmates to date. The Ohio Innocence Project to date has helped 23 individuals obtain their long-sought freedom. Learn more about our significant cases.

Inmate Screening Application

An inmate requesting the assistance of the OIP should complete the Screening Application (pdf). The inmate must FULLY COMPLETE the form and submit it to the address on the form, otherwise it will be returned and no further action will be taken until returned complete. Print out a hard copy of the application, fill out in ink, and return it by mail if you would like the OIP to review your case.

UC Magazine Highlights Ohio Innocence Project

In June 1998 Clarence Elkins’ life changed dramatically for the worse. In merely a month’s time he had gone from being a beloved uncle and father to being the primary suspect in the brutal rape and murder of his mother-in-law, Judith Johnson, and the rape of his six-year-old niece, Brooke. Elkins was pinned with the crime after Brooke—the only witness—told police that the attacker looked similar to her uncle, Elkins. Though Brooke did not identify Elkins as the perpetrator, he was arrested and charged with the crimes.  (Read the entire article)