Keith A. Findley

Professor of Law

Findley, Keith A.

Contact

keith.findley@wisc.edu
608-262-4763
Room 8108, Law School

PDF Icon Curriculum Vitae

Education

B.A. 1981, Indiana University
J.D. 1985, Yale Law School

Biography

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 1998, 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. For five years, from 2009 to November 2014, he served as  president of the Innocence Network, an affiliation of nearly 70 innocence organizations throughout the world. In 2018, he joined with Jerry Buting and Dean Strang (made famous as Steven Avery's attorneys in the Netflix documentary series 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.

Recently, Prof. Findley has become deeply involved in policing issues. He served as co-chair of the Madison Police Department Policy & Procedure Review Ad Hoc Committee, which after four years of study issued a report in 2019 with 177 recommendations for reforms, including recommendations for creating a mechanism for civilian oversight of policing. From 2016-2018, he served as a Commissioner on the Madison Police and Fire Commission. In 2020, he served as co-chair of the Madison Police Body-Worn Camera Feasibility Review Committee. And in 2020 he was appointed to serve on the Madison Police Civilian Oversight Board.

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 internationally on wrongful convictions, forensic science, evidence, and appellate advocacy.

Scholarship & Publications

SSRN

Law Repository

Research Interests

  • Wrongful Convictions
  • Eyewitness Identification Procedures
  • Interrogations & False Confessions
  • Forensic Sciences
  • Legal/Clinical Education

Activities

  • Keith Findley presented "How Do We Really Know Who Dunnit?" during the Wisconsin Science Festival, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Institute for Discovery on Oct. 21, 2021.

  • Keith Findley and others posted "Plea Bargaining in the Shadow of a Retrial: Bargaining Away Innocence" to SSRN. Read the abstract.

  • Keith Findley presented "Beyond Subjective Judgments: The Importance of Quanitfying Data in Forensics" during CSI Korea, a conference co-hosted by the Korean National Police Agency and Korean Association of CSI on Oct. 20, 2021.

  • Keith Findley presented "Defending the Shaken Baby Case" at the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 18th Annual Forensics Seminar, on Oct. 8, 2021. 

  • Keith Findley presented during "Just Narratives: Covering Criminal Justice," in which panelists with expertise in criminal justice and journalism engaged in a public discussion about media ethics and the challenges of covering the justice system in the U.S. The event was hosted by The Center for Journalism Ethics. Watch the symposium

  • Keith Findley, the Wisconsin Innocence Project, and students were refereced in the book "Redeeming Justice" by former Wisconsin Innocence Project client Jarrett Adams. Read a review of the book.

  • Keith Findley presented "Cognitive Bias in Forensic Analyses and Criminal Investigations" at the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratories Training Program in June.

  • Keith Findley presented "Clinics at Wisconsin: Comprehensive, In-depth Pedagogy and Bottom-up Innovation" at the Wisconsin Law Review Symposium in 2021.

  • Keith Findley served as a panelist for the discussion "Making Sense of the Derek Chauvin Verdict" hosted by University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for the Humanities.

  • Keith Findley presented “The Absence or Misuse of Statistics in Forensic Science as a Contributor to Wrongful Convictions” at the Penn State Dickinson Law Review Symposium in April.

  • Keith Findley was a member of an independent panel of legal experts who reviewed the conviction of Myon Burrell, a Minnesota man serving life in prison for murder. Based largely on the panel's report, a judge commuted Burrell's sentence in December 2020. View the findings: Report of the Independent Panel to Examine the Conviction and Sentence of Myon Burrell (PDF).

  • Keith Findley served as an expert witness in State of Texas v. Nicholas Blount. The presiding judge cited Findley’s testimony in his December 7 ruling in the defendant’s favor, in which he placed limits on the testimony of the prosecution’s medical witnesses.

  • Keith Findley was elected co-chair of Madison's new Police Body-Worn Camera Feasibility Review Committee. The ad hoc committee was created by the City of Madison to study whether the Madison Police Department should begin an officer body-worn camera program, and if so, what the policies governing the use of such cameras should be.

  • Keith Findley was appointed to Madison's new Body-Worn Camera Feasibility Review Committee. The committee was created following a comprehensive four-year study of local police force policies, practices and procedures by the Madison Police Department Policy and Procedure Review Ad Hoc Committee, which Findley co-chaired.

  • Keith Findley presented "Lessons from the Innocence Cases: Litigating Tunnel Vision," a webinar hosted by Temple University Beasley School of Law in January 2020.

Teaching Areas

  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Law and Science

Recently Taught Courses

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