John Pray

Clinical Professor of Law; Co-Director, Wisconsin Innocence Project

Telephone: 608-263-7461
Office: Room 4318J, Law School

J.D., Univ.of Wisconsin Law School, 1986
M.S.W., Univ. of Georgia, 1980
B.M., Univ. of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 1976
B.A., Cornell College, 1971

Teaching Areas:
Criminal Law

Recently Taught Courses
815 Appellate Advocacy: US Ct Appeals for the Armed Forces
854 Clinical Program: Criminal Appeals Project
854 Clinical Program: Innocence Project
860 Adv Crim Pro: Rep Criminal Appellant
860 Adv. Criminal Procedure: Rep. Criminal Appellant
860 Adv. Criminal Procedure: Rep. Criminal Appellant
915 SP Crim. J. Admin.: Claims of Innocence


Clinical Professor John Pray has worked at the Law School's Frank J. Remington Center since 1986. He currently directs the Criminal Appeals Project, in which he supervises students in their work on the direct appeal of criminal convictions. Through his work in the Project, Professor Pray has litigated many cases in the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, leading to significant published decisions clarifying the rights of defendants in criminal cases.

In 1998, Prof. Pray co-founded the Wisconsin Innocence Project (WIP) along with Prof. Keith Findley.  Since then, WIP has been responsible for the release of more than fifteen prisoners, each of whom had been wrongly convicted of serious crimes including murder and sexual assault. In addition, he has been involved in the Project's efforts to reform the criminal justice system by helping train police officers throughout the state, writing amici briefs in high profile cases, and proposing and drafting legislation in a number of key areas, including preservation and testing of DNA, eyewitness identification procedures, and mandatory videotaping recording of interrogations.

Prof. Pray is a 1971 graduate of Cornell College, earned a bachelor of music from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1976. an Masters in Social Work in 1980 from the University of Georgia, and is a 1986 cum laude graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School. In his former professional life he has been a musician, social worker and teacher. His outside interests include piano, tennis, soccer, gardening, and beekeeping.

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