Arvest Bank presents Conversations from the Top with Tricia Bushnell as she speaks about the work she does at the Midwest Innocence Project (MIP) and her journey being a part of the investigation, litigation, and exoneration of wrongfully convicted men and women in our five-state region. Recent studies conservatively estimate that between 2% and 5% of all inmates in America are innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted, with some estimates reaching up to 7%. This means that somewhere between 2,000 and 7,000 moms, dads, sons, and daughters in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Arkansas are locked behind bars this very moment for crimes they did not commit.
Tricia Bushnell joined the Midwest Innocence Project in December 2013. Prior to coming to Kansas City, she served as clinical faculty at the Frank J. Remington Center’s Wisconsin Innocence Project, University of Wisconsin-Madison. There she supervised students in the investigation and litigation of innocence cases involving both DNA and non-DNA evidence. She also spearheaded a program to bring social work students into the criminal clinics. She speaks about this and her cases at the annual Innocence Network Conference.
Before joining the Wisconsin Innocence Project, Bushnell was a fellow with the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama, where she represented indigent clients sentenced to death, juveniles sentenced to life without parole, and sexual offenders challenging the collateral consequences of their convictions. She has written and filed briefs on behalf of defendants and amicus curiae in both state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Bushnell was previously an associate with the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis in Los Angeles, where she worked in the white-collar criminal defense and litigation departments.
She earned her Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law, where she was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Fellow. She received a Bachelor of Arts in German and Political Science from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. She currently serves on the Executive Committee for the Innocence Network and as President for the ACLU of Missouri.