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March 1, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

Forensic expert plans SRU lecture

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - John Rago, an associate professor of law at Duquesne University School of Law and director of both The Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law and the Law School's Post-conviction DNA Project, will bring his expertise to Slippery Rock University for a 12:30 p.m., March 5, lecture in the Russell Wright Alumni House and Conference Center.

His lecture, "Wrongful Conviction and DNA Analysis," is sponsored by SRU's pre-law program.

Rago and Wecht, a well-respected forensics expert and former Allegheny County medical examiner and coroner, served as editors of the book "Forensic Science and Law: Investigative Application in Criminal, Civil, and Family Justice." Benjamin Wecht, program administrator at the Wecht Institute and a former journalist, served as editorial coordinator for the book.

The work features contributions from renowned experts in the forensic, scientific and legal professions and works to communicate a wide range of methods and approaches used for achieving justice in civil, criminal and family legal matters. It provides medical, legal and civil justice applications of forensic science.

Rago's work focuses on wrongful convictions in the broader context of conviction integrity. He is chairperson of the 51-member statewide committee formed by the Pennsylvania State Senate to study wrongful convictions under the auspices of the Joint State Government Commission. His recently released report includes a series of policy and legislative proposals currently under consideration. The report is available at:

Rago serves on the Innocence Project's Northeast Policy Board and the Governor's Advisory Board on Probation.

At Duquesne he teaches, "Criminal Law and Procedure" and "Wrongful Convictions" and works in the university's Post-conviction DNA Project.

He also teaches "Wrongful Convictions," "Constitutional Criminal Procedure" and "Philosophy of Law, Science and Religion" to graduate forensic science students in Duquesne's Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.

Rago has served as an appointed member of the Innocence Project's Policy Group of the Cardozo School of Law in New York and is admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.