Faith Barksdale

  • Hosted by The Innocence Project
  • Sponsored by Ropes & Gray LLP
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school Yale Law School
  • Issue area Criminal Justice Reform
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Faith will drive reform of prosecutorial oversight in targeted jurisdictions nationwide, by holding prosecutors accountable for misconduct and adopting best practices to prevent wrongful convictions. 

The cumulative effect of prosecutorial misconduct is difficult to quantify because prosecutorial oversight is drastically under-enforced and understudied. Prosecutors have the greatest role in charging decisions, and this project will help—and incentivize—them to develop more sound and scientifically robust guidelines for criminal justice reform. This project provides direct legal assistance to victims of prosecutorial misconduct and drives systemic prosecutorial reform through legislative advocacy and policy collaboration.  

Through exposure to social justice advocacy in many different capacities over the course of her careerFaith has come to believe that the criminal legal system is the nexus of social inequality. Given the paramount role that prosecutors play within the criminal legal system, reshaping the work of prosecutors’ offices is one of the most effective means of criminal legal reform. 

Fellowship Plans

Faith’s project will help shape the emerging progressive prosecution trend in criminal justice through collaboration and deterrence. During the Fellowship, Faith will represent people who have been wrongfully convicted in disciplinary actions against prosecutor bad actors; perform a systemic nation-wide survey of prosecution policies related to key areas impacting wrongful conviction; and draft two pieces of model legislation that will codify prosecutorial oversight policies and best practices. 

Reshaping the work of prosecutors’ offices is one of the most effective means of criminal legal reform.

Faith Barksdale /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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