Jacqueline McMurtrie founded the Innocence Project Northwest in 1997. As Director of the nation’s third organized innocence project, Jackie has overseen the exoneration of 13 individuals who wrongly served over 100 years in prison, and served as co-counsel in eight of those cases. After graduating from the University of Michigan School of Law in 1983, Jackie had a career in public defense before joining the UW School of Law faculty in 1989. She formed the IPNW Clinic in 2002 and has trained over 100 law students working on innocence cases. A founding member of the Innocence Network, Jackie serves on its Board of Directors and Committee on Amicus Policies. She also chairs the Washington State Bar Association Council on Public Defense and regularly shares her expertise through public speaking, training and scholarly writing on innocence issues. Jackie’s dedication to improving criminal justice and advocating for the innocent has been recognized by the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Washington Defender Association, Washington Women Lawyers, and the University of Washington. In 2013 she was awarded the ACLU of Washington’s highest honor, the William O. Douglas award, for outstanding, consistent and sustained contributions to the cause of civil liberties. See full profile
Anna Tolin joined IPNW in 2011 and became its Deputy Director in 2012. She supervises attorneys and clinic students on all cases involving post-conviction DNA testing. In 2013, Anna helped secure the freedom of IPNW client Jeramie Davis. Anna served as a volunteer attorney when IPNW was founded, serving as co-counsel in the 2000 exoneration of Meredith Town. She also gave pro bono support to help free Jason Puracal in 2012 from his wrongful conviction in Nicaragua. Anna is a graduate of the University of Washington and Cornell Law School. She has over twenty-two years of criminal defense experience in the public and private sectors and has represented clients at all levels of Washington State and federal courts and in the Idaho Supreme Court. Anna is a Past President of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a member of the Innocence Network’s Complex DNA Working Group. She regularly lectures on innocence issues and helps to administer and fulfill IPNW’s vital mission to free innocent Washington prisoners. See full profile
Lara Zarowsky joined IPNW as the Project’s first Policy Staff Attorney in 2010 and became Policy Director in 2012. Her work promotes systemic reforms to prevent wrongful convictions and support exonerees following release. Lara founded IPNW’s Legislative Advocacy Clinic, whose students championed the 2013 law to compensate Washington’s wrongly convicted. A graduate of the Evergreen State College and University of Washington School of Law, Lara previously worked as a policy attorney for the Integrity of Justice Project and non-partisan staff to the Judiciary and Public Safety committees of the Washington State House of Representatives. Lara frequently lectures on innocence-related public policy reform and testifies on such topics before state legislative workgroups and committees. Lara leads IPNW efforts to collaborate with criminal justice leaders to improve statewide practices; she is currently spearheading efforts to reform eyewitness identification procedures in Washington State. See full profile
Peter Moreno joined IPNW in 2013. He teaches and supervises IPNW clinic students who investigate and litigate prisoner’s claims of innocence. An experienced post-conviction lawyer, Peter worked as an appellate public defender and was formerly with the Wisconsin Innocence Project where he served as lead counsel securing DNA testing for numerous WIP clients and won a new trial for a non-DNA client. Peter graduated with honors from the University of Washington School of Law in 2008 and holds an M.S. in Biology from the University of Wisconsin. He has lectured on the failures of forensic science and co-authored multiple amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court on the subject. After a career in nonprofit organizations that advocate for justice and accountability, Peter brings a diverse perspective to his advocacy for IPNW's clients.
Staff Attorney & Volunteer Coordinator
Fernanda Torres has served as Staff Attorney for IPNW since 2011. She litigates innocence claims for prisoners where DNA testing is not an option. Fernanda works with attorneys, students, experts and investigators on complex cases involving murder, rape, homicide by abuse, arson, robbery and assault. She was lead counsel in the 2013 exonerations of Brandon Olebar and Paul Statler. A 2003 graduate of New York University School of Law, Fernanda has experience with trial, post-conviction and capital cases as a private practitioner and public defender. She serves on the boards of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Seattle Amistad School. Born in Mexico, Fernanda is bilingual. In addition to her tenacious and compassionate client representation, Fernanda conducts training and pro bono partnership outreach for IPNW. See full profile
Faculty Support Supervisor
Lauren Collins provides support to the Innocence Project Northwest Clinic faculty and supervises the Faculty Support Team at the University of Washington School of Law. She is also pursuing a Masters of Social Work degree at the UW and serves homeless youth at Neighborcare Health’s 45th Street Youth Medical and Dental Clinic. She joined the Social Justice Fund’s Gender Justice Giving Project, raising money for organizations working on issues of family security, reproductive rights, and freedom of gender identity and expression. Lauren is dedicated to the work of IPNW and helps coordinate the education of IPNW clinic students and assist faculty who teach and supervise students working on IPNW cases.
Pro Bono Attorney
Joseph Pierce moved to Seattle in 2012, retiring from his 35-year career as a criminal defense and civil rights attorney in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Joe had successfully litigated cases at both the trial and appellate level in state and federal courts. After arriving in the Pacific Northwest, Joe began to devote hundreds of pro bono hours to the IPNW. Joe regularly conducts case review and analysis and brings a wealth of expertise and experience to his tenacious advocacy for the wrongfully accused. Joe also serves as member of the Innocence Project Northwest’s volunteer Advisory Council and has recruited members to help sustain IPNW’s efforts in the future.