2021 Newsmaker: Tracey Brame

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Tracey Brame

Professor, Associate Dean

Cooley Law/Innocence Project

Tracey Brame is an attorney, professor and the associate dean of experiential and practice preparation at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. 

She also added another title in 2021. Brame was named the director of the school’s Innocence Project, which is a part of the Innocence Network that provides legal assistance to individuals who are imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. The Innocence Project works to obtain post-conviction DNA testing of material evidence and find evidence of unreliable forensic practices.

The WMU-Cooley Innocence Project is the only post-conviction DNA innocence organization in the state. It is staffed by WMU-Cooley Law School students who work under the supervision of WMU-Cooley Innocence Project attorneys.

“Since the beginning of my law career, advocacy work has been my passion,” Brame said. “It’s an honor to assume the role of director for the WMU Cooley Innocence Project from professor (Marla) Mitchell-Cichon, who has spent much of her legal career fighting for the wrongly accused.”

The WMU Cooley Innocence Project’s clinic has screened more than 5,800 cases since it was opened in 2001 and it is responsible for the exoneration of several individuals over that time, including three in 2021.

The WMU Cooley Innocence Project assisted in the release of Kenneth Nixon, Gilbert Lee Poole Jr. and Corey Quentin McCall

Nixon was wrongfully convicted of murder, attempted murder and arson in 2005. Poole was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1989. McCall was wrongfully convicted of three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in 2005.

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