Full text: University statement on David Protess

The Daily Northwestern

There have been recent media reports regarding the conduct of David Protess, a professor of journalism in Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and the Medill Innocence Project, which he directs. Northwestern has been conducting its own review of Professor Protess and the actions and practices of the Innocence Project. That review began last fall after questions arose regarding the accuracy and completeness of information supplied to the University by Professor Protess. That information served as the basis for Northwestern’s response to subpoenas issued by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

The underlying court case in which the subpoenas were issued involved a post-conviction petition by a prisoner named Anthony McKinney. From Fall Quarter 2003 through Spring Quarter 2006, Medill students in Professor Protess’ Investigative Journalism class, working in conjunction with the Medill Innocence Project, researched the facts surrounding the conviction of Mr. McKinney.

The work of Professor Protess and the Medill Innocence Project has gained national recognition and brought credit to Northwestern and Medill. More importantly, that work has helped free wrongfully convicted individuals from prison. However, the laudable goal of the Innocence Project would not justify any improper actions that may have been taken by Professor Protess.

-Al Cubbage, University spokesman