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Hawaii Innocence Project: ‘Justice Is A Matter of the Heart’

A legal clinic trying to exonerate those who have been wrongfully convicted has new leadership that’s hoping to free more innocent people. Kenneth Lawson and Ronette Kawakami were named as co-directors last spring. Kawakami is an associate dean at the law school and spent 26 years as a public defender.

Lawson is an associate faculty specialist who has a long history of criminal defense work on the mainland. The new-look Innocence Project already seems to be taking on Lawson’s personality. His nickname is the “Law Dog,” and he’s become one of the most popular teachers in the law school, in large part because of his back story.“He is very much a fighter and a champion for the underdog,” Kawakami said. “The students just react to him so well. They really, really like him. He brings a great amount of credibility because he’s been there. He’s done the big cases. He’s done the work. But he’s also been on the other side of it.” She said Lawson exemplifies the fallibility of being human, and shows just how important it is not to turn your back on someone. Read more . . .

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