Adam Westbrook looks at an ongoing project at Northwestern University in the US, where students under the leadership of investigative journalist David Protess investigate, fact check and data mine criminal convictions in their region.
Focusing on murder cases where the defendants have been sentence to execution, the group has to date freed 11 men through their work.
“This isn’t so much an idea which has any business revenue potential obviously, although there’s a chance it could get a decent grant here and there. But what a way to get students engaged during their studies! And what a way to teach them the most difficult skill of all: investigation,” writes Westbrook.