Crystal Shares Her CFS Experience at the Center on Wrongful Convictions


Crystal Kim

Name: Crystal


Major: Political Science

CFS Concentration: Legal Field Studies

Do you know how many innocent people have been executed? Why would you confess to a murder you didn’t commit? How does one adjust to society after 20 years of imprisonment for a wrongful conviction?

This quarter, I am figuring out the answers to these questions through my internship at the Center on Wrongful Convictions (CWC).

Although it is only the second week of my internship, my colleagues and I have already learned a lot about the mission and the work of the center.  Our supervisors and instructors, Rob Warden and Dolores Kennedy, have been giving the interns an in-depth overview of the causes of wrongful convictions, the consequences of them, and the challenging process of exoneration.  Thirty-six innocent people were exonerated with the help of the center and the members of CWC are persistently working to exonerate more innocent men and women.  Unfortunately, only a limited amount of cases can be worked on at a time and a single exoneration case can take up to 10 years and sometimes even longer.

CFS has already been an incredible experience for me.  I can already tell that this quarter will be one of the most rewarding and valuable quarters of my Northwestern career.  In addition to relishing the beautiful downtown Chicago views, I look forward to learning more about the legal system in an out-of-class environment during the remainder of the summer. Through guest speakers, lectures, field trips, and research, I hope to learn more about topics ranging from wrongful convictions to racism in the legal system to the role of the United States in international law.  Finally, even though my internship only lasts a short quarter, I hope I will be able to contribute to the admirable efforts of the faculty and staff at CWC.