Innocence Project Founder Peter Neufeld Honored at LIU Post
Receives honorary doctorate after missing graduation due to family emergency; former member of O.J. Simpson defense team co-founded group that has cleared nearly 300 wrongly convicted individuals
Morgan Lyle,Assistant Director of Public Relations
LIU Post, Long Island University
Brookville, N.Y. -- Attorney Peter J. Neufeld, co-founder of the Innocence Project, which has used DNA evidence to exonerate hundreds of wrongly convicted people, received an honorary degree from Long Island University Thursday, Aug. 2, three months after missing the commencement ceremony because of a family emergency.
LIU Chairman Edward Travaglianti, President Dr. David Steinberg, LIU Post Provost Dr. Paul Forestell and other university officers donned academic robes and presented the honorary Doctor of Laws in a private ceremony.
Dr. Steinberg called Neufeld "one of the most influential defense lawyers in U.S. history."
"We applaud you for your efforts to restore fairness, equity and justice to the courtrooms of America," he said.
Neufeld and partner Barry Scheck founded the Innocence Project in 1992 at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Today, through a network of 54 clinics around the country, the Innocence Project has exonerated 297 people, including 17 who had been sentenced to death. Neufeld, Scheck and the late Johnnie Cochrane served on the O.J. Simpson defense team in 1995.
In attendance Thursday was Muriel Neufeld, Peter's mother, a longtime member of the LIU Post community. A frequent attendee at the Hutton House Lecture Series and other events at LIU Post, Muriel Neufeld is a former president of the American Ethical Union and a longtime progressive activist. Peter Neufeld cited her influence on himself and his brother Russell while growing up in West Hempstead, N.Y. "She had us interested in the civil rights movement and the peace movement from the time we were young children," he said. "We were taught that it wasn't about greed or creed or color, it was about justice."
Peter Neufeld is scheduled to speak at LIU Post Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 12:30 p.m. in Humanities Hall room 119 as part of the Provost Distinguished Lecture Series. The lecture is free and open to the public.
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