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Legal affairs journalist to speak on wrongful convictions

March 27, 2012 12:00AM

Rob Warden, an award-winning legal affairs journalist and executive director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at the Northwestern University School of Law, will deliver a public lecture at Pittsburg State University on Friday, March 30. Warden will speak at 11 a.m. in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom of the Overman Student Center.

Warden’s appearance is sponsored by PSU social work students, who scheduled the event to coincide with the appearance of Sister Helen Prejean, author of  “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States” Friday evening and with the Dead Man Walking Theatre production April 26-29.

Warden, originally from Carthage, Mo., was an investigative reporter, foreign correspondent, and editor at the Chicago Daily News before founding the Chicago Lawyer magazine in 1978. As editor and publisher of the magazine during the 1980s, Warden exposed more than a score of wrongful convictions in Illinois, including cases in which six innocent men had been sentenced to death.

In 1989, Warden sold Chicago Lawyer to the Law Bulletin Publishing Company, which has continued to publish it. After that and before co-founding the Center on Wrongful Convictions with Professor Lawrence C. Marshall in 1999, Warden worked as a political issues consultant, executive officer of the Cook County State’s Attorney's Office, and served as a consultant to various law firms and the litigation department of General Electric Medical Systems.

Warden has won more than 50 journalism awards, including the Medill School of Journalism’s John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism, two American Civil Liberties Union James McGuire Awards, five Peter Lisagor Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Norval Morris Award from the Illinois Academy of Criminology. In 2003, he was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame.

He is co-author, with Steven A. Drizin, of “True Stories of False Confessions,” and with David Protess, of “A Promise of Justice” on the pardons of the Ford Heights Four, and “Gone in the Night,” on the reversal of David Dowaliby’s conviction.

Warden will meet students and the public at 9 a.m. in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom prior to the Phi Alpha social work award ceremony at 10 a.m. He will autograph copies of his books following his 11 a.m. presentation. Warden’s books are available at the PSU Bookstore and at the lecture.

©2012 Pittsburg State University