THE PERLMUTTER CENTER
FOR LEGAL JUSTICE
FIGHTING "JUNK SCIENCE"
Laura and Ike Perlmutter have championed criminal justice reform for many years. What began as an area of interest and concern grew into a passion. After making meaningful contributions to the Innocence Project and the National Forensic College, the Perlmutters teamed up with their longtime friend and attorney Josh Dubin to form the Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo School of Law.
The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo Law trains lawyers in the proper use of scientific evidence and to address the rampant abuse of “junk science” in contributing to wrongful convictions. The Perlmutter Center was established through a $15-million philanthropic donation from the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Foundation.
The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice has two components. The first is a student field clinic called The Perlmutter Freedom Clinic at Cardozo Law, which focuses on fighting wrongful convictions based on the misuse of scientific evidence and works to obtain clemency for individuals unjustly incarcerated. The second component, The Perlmutter Forensic Science Education Program, features an ambitious legal education program in scientific evidence designed for practicing attorneys. The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice builds on the decades-long success of Cardozo’s Forensic Science College.
Two fierce advocates are leading the center’s efforts. At the helm is Executive Director Josh Dubin, one of the preeminent civil rights attorneys and legal strategy consultants in the nation. Serving as Deputy Director is legal strategist and paralegal Derrick Hamilton, who was falsely imprisoned for over 20 years and won his own exoneration while helping fellow inmates with their cases.
Convictions based on the misuse of forensic evidence occur too frequently in the criminal justice system. The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice trains the next generation of lawyers in the correct use of forensic evidence. In addition, it focuses on overly harsh and punitive convictions and sentences through clemency work. Systemic racism, social inequity and the proliferation of unregulated and misunderstood “junk science” have added to unjust incarcerations that disproportionately impact communities of color.
Milbank LLP has pledged $1 million to create an exoneration and resentencing review unit at Cardozo School of Law's Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice as part of an alliance aimed at fighting inequities in the criminal justice system.
DERRICK HAMILTON’S JOURNEY:
FROM PRISONER TO
THE CENTER'S DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Read about Derek Hamilton's journey from New York State prisoner to jailhouse lawyer in this riveting New Yorker article.
CLEMENCY FOR BRUCE BRYAN
Bruce Bryan, the Center's first client, was released from jail after 30 years, serving time for a murder he did not commit. Read about his incredible story.