2nd Annual IPSA Reception
Friday, April 06, 2012
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
On April 5, 2012, the Innocence Project Student Association held their 2nd Annual Reception titled, "Exoneree turned Esquire: The compelling story of Anthony Robinson’s wrongful conviction and his journey to becoming a successful attorney.” Prof. John Brittain gave a brief introduction. Anthony Robinson then talked about his experience being wrongfully convicted of sexual assault, paying for his own DNA test to exonerate himself, getting a law degree from Texas Southern University and now practicing international trade law.
Throughout the presentation Anthony Robinson offered some advice to students. He told the audience, "The system is perfect but people are imperfect” and "Be the lawyer you want to have” and "The rights of the individual must be fought for.” "Justice delayed is justice denied”
Anthony Robinson told his story. He was arrested for sexual assault. His court-appointed counsel asked him if he could have committed sexual assault, and just not remembered it. He asked the courts if they needed any biological evidence – saliva, blood, hair – to prove his innocence and they said no. In an era before DNA testing he was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 27 years for sexual assault.
In 1996 he was released but then had to register as a sex offender. Using the money made from reassembling computers in Texas he hired a lawyer, saved money for DNA testing, and proved his innocence. Then Texas Governor Bush issued a pardon and his record was expunged. He then went on to receive a law degree from Texas Southern University and now practices international trade law.
His words of advice to the audience: "Be the lawyer you want to have.” Anthony Robinson said even if you are not able to help someone looking to overturn a wrongful conviction, pass on that information to another lawyer.
Prof. Andrew Ferguson gave the closing remarks and described the next steps for the Innocence Project. Sakinda Skinner and Brianna Ford then presented an IPSA award to Anthony Robinson.