Wrongfully convicted man’s Notre Dame speech revives project

(WISH Photo, file)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A wrongfully convicted Indiana man whose case made national news during Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign has helped revive a Notre Dame law school group.

The (South Bend) Tribune reports that five students struggled to revive the Innocence Project until Keith Cooper’s appearance in April packed a campus lecture hall.

The Elkhart man spent 10 years in prison for a 1996 robbery before DNA evidence suggested his innocence and witnesses recanted. His case gained prominence last year when then-Gov. Pence refused to pardon him. Gov. Eric Holcomb issued the pardon days after taking office.

Club president Tia Paulette and four others stepped forward in summer 2016 to jump-start the Innocence Project. Now there are more than 100 members and their goal is to work on cases of potential wrongful convictions.