Keith A. Findley
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 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
- Wrongful Convictions
- Eyewitness Identification Procedures
- Interrogations & False Confessions
- Forensic Sciences
- Legal/Clinical Education
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 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 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.
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.
News & Media
Friday, Oct 15, 2021Keith Findley: Missed police killings prove we must address systemic bias in forensic science
The Washington Post
Friday, Sep 24, 2021Keith Findley, Wisconsin Innocence Project referenced in new book; read a review
Los Angeles Review of Books
Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021Just Narratives panel features Keith Findley
Monday, Sep 20, 2021Keith Findley discusses work with the Wisconsin Innocence Project on 'Wrongful Conviction' podcast
Friday, Sep 17, 2021Keith Findley discusses 'One Year Later: How Is Local Law Enforcement Evolving?'
Cap Times Ideas Fest
Thursday, Jul 29, 2021Keith Findley discusses accessing police body-worn camera footage in Wisconsin
Thursday, Jul 8, 2021Keith Findley discusses police body-worn cameras
The Capital Times
Monday, Jun 7, 2021Keith Findley: New research shows prosecutors often fight winning innocence claims, offer deals to keep convictions
KARE 11 TV
Friday, Apr 23, 2021Keith Findley comments on Chauvin verdict
Monday, Apr 19, 2021Keith Findley: Jury can't hold decision not to testify against Chauvin
Thursday, Apr 15, 2021Keith Findley discusses police searches of cellphone data
Courthouse News Service
Monday, Feb 8, 2021Keith Findley: Prosecutors, defense attorneys quarrel over Kyle Rittenhouse's location
Tuesday, May 12, 2020Findley, Rogers awarded faculty fellowships for 2020-21