Keith A. Findley
Associate Professor of Law
B.A. 1981, Indiana University
J.D. 1985, Yale Law School,
For all but six years since 1985--during which he served as a state public defender--Keith Findley has been a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin Law School. For 20 of those years, he taught in the Law School's clinics. In 2012, he moved to the tenure track, where he teaches Evidence, Wrongful Convictions, Criminal Procedure, and Law & Forensic Science. In 1997, along with Professor John Pray, he co-founded the Wisconsin Innocence Project, and he served as co-director of the project until the spring of 2017, when he assumed the role of Senior Advisor to the Project. For five years, from 2009 to November 2014, he served as president of the Innocence Network, an affiliation of nearly 70 innocence organization throughout the world. In 2018, he joined with Jerry Buting and Dean Strang (made famous as Steven Avery's attorneys in the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer) to create a non-profit, the Center for Integrity in Forensic Sciences, dedicated to improving the reliability and safety of criminal prosecutions through strengthening forensic sciences.
Prof. Findley is the author of more than 50 law review articles and book chapters. His primary areas of scholarship and expertise are in wrongful convictions, criminal law and procedure, law and forensic science, and appellate advocacy. He has previously worked as an Assistant State Public Defender in Wisconsin, both in the Appellate and Trial Divisions. He has litigated hundreds of postconviction and appellate cases, at all levels of state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. He also lectures and teaches nationally on wrongful convictions, forensic science, evidence, and appellate advocacy.
Scholarship & Publications
- Wrongful Convictions
- Eyewitness Identification Procedures
- Interrogations & False Confessions
- Forensic Sciences
- Legal/Clinical Education
Keith Findley presented "Lessons from the Innocence Cases: Litigating Tunnel Vision," a webinar hosted by Temple University Beasley School of Law in January 2020.
In November 2019, Keith Findley participated on the panel "The Last Ten Years of the Innocence Movement," at a University of Michigan Law School symposium celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the Michigan Innocence Clinic. Other panelists included Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McComack, Professor Sam Gross, Professor Eve Primus, Professor David Moran, and Attorney Valerie Newman.
Keith Findley presented "Cognitive Bias in Death Investigations" at the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Annual Symposium on November 13, 2019.
Keith Findley presented "Cognitive Bias in the Criminal Justice System" at the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratories Symposium, "Instruments of Justice: Working in Concert for the People of Wisconsin" in October 2019. This was the State Crime Laboratories' inaugural annual symposium, which brought together police, prosecutors, defense attorneys and forensic analysts.
Keith Findley presented "Flawed Forensics and Procedural Justice" at a symposium organized by the Korean National Police University titled, "Democratic Society and Procedural Justice." This international symposium was attended by scholars, practitioners and police officers. He also gave a guest lecture, "Wrongful Conviction of the Innocent," to a group of faculty and students at the Korean National Police University. Both took place in Seoul, South Korea, in October 2019.
Keith Findley presented "Defending the Shaken Baby Case" at the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association's 17th Annual Forensics Conference.
Keith Findley presented "Litigating Complex Medical Child Abuse Cases" at Cardozo School of Law's National Forensic College in June.
Keith Findley presented his paper, "Defining Innocence," at a session entitled "New Wrongful Conviction Scholarship" at the Innocence Network 2011 Conference: An International Exploration of Wrongful Conviction at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Keith Findley spoke in a series of symposia entitled “Victim Empowerment through DNA Forensics,” presented to human rights workers, prosecutors, police, and academics at a series of sites in South Africa, including the National Prosecuting Authority in Johannesburg, the Centre on Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, the National Prosecuting Authority in Port Elizabeth, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, and the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town.
Keith Findley presented "Lessons from the Innocence Movement" to the Norwegian Academy for Science and Letters, as part of a symposium on evidence in criminal cases.
Keith Findley spoke at the New York Law School Law Review Symposium: Exonerating the Innocent: Pre-Trial Innocence Procedures." Professor Findley was part of a panel discussion titled "Political and Practice Considerations: Statutes and Demonstration Projects."
Keith Findley participated in Cardozo Law School's symposium on prosecutors' disclosure obligations, and acted as the reporter for a working group that described a "best practices" disclosure process for prosecutors' offices. The report was included in the June 2010 volume of the Cardozo Law Review.
Keith Findley published an op-ed piece in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel titled "No Silver Bullets in Forensic Evidence." The article points out that, although forensic science can provide powerful evidence for law enforcement, misleading or erroneous forensic evidence has contributed to wrongful convictions.
Keith Findley's article "Innocence Protection in the Appellate Process" was listed as an SSRN Top Ten download for Criminal Procedure. The article was published in the current issue of the Marquette Law Review.
News & Media
Thursday, Feb 20, 2020Child abuse misdiagnoses "happening all across the country," says Keith Findley
Thursday, Jan 30, 2020Keith Findley echoes concerns over evidentiary procedure in Milwaukee child abuse case
Thursday, Jan 23, 2020Wisconsin Innocence Project exoneree who became a lawyer thanks Keith Findley and John Pray by defending the wrongly convicted
Wisconsin Public Radio
Friday, Jan 17, 2020Keith Findley discusses his recent work on forensic evidence, policing
Wisconsin Law in Action
Wednesday, Jan 15, 2020Keith Findley discusses the flawed science around 'shaken baby' convictions
Monday, Oct 21, 2019Police review committee that Keith Findley chaired releases final report; Findley comments
Wisconsin State Journal
Friday, Sep 27, 2019When doctors trained to spot child abuse get it wrong, families are torn apart; Keith Findley comments
Monday, Sep 9, 2019Keith Findley describes how police & prosecutors' tunnel vision can lead to wrongful convictions
Thursday, Jul 18, 2019Keith Findley comments on the $7.5 million bite mark settlement awarded a Wisconsin Innocence Project exoneree
Fox 6 Milwaukee
Friday, Jun 21, 2019How do we reconcile law and science? Keith Findley weighs in
The Washington Post
Tuesday, May 7, 2019Keith Findley discusses governor's plan to restore pardons in Wisconsin
Wednesday, Mar 27, 2019Community awaits plea in Barron kidnapping and murder case; Keith Findley comments
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Friday, Mar 1, 2019Keith Findley co-founds new Center for Integrity in Forensic Sciences
Thursday, Jan 31, 2019Child abuse pediatricians: Are parents being wrongly accused? Keith Findley weighs in
Fox 47 Michigan