NU Professor Removed from Famed Journalism Class

David Protess will not teach class credited with helping wrongly-convicted men

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    NBCChicago.com

    Northwestern University on Friday abruptly removed the professor of its investigative journalism class.

    This spring, David Protess will not teach the class that's been credited with helping free more than 10 innocent men from prison.

    The University is looking into claims that Protess witheld documents from prosecutors while providing them to defense attorneys.

    "Northwestern has been conducting its own review of Professor Protess and the actions and practices of the Innocence Project," reads a statement from the university.  "That review began last fall after questions arose regarding the accuracy and completeness of information supplied to the University by Professor Protess. That information served as the basis for Northwestern's response to subpoenas issued by the Cook County State's Attorney's office."

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    Protess denies any wrongdoing and says he will remain Director of the Medill Innocence Project.  

    "I am committed to continuing our investigations in these cases," said Protess, a 29-year Medill professor. "Innocent prisoners should not be punished for the dean's decision."

    Medill Dean John Lavine told Protess about the decision in an e-mail Monday, Protess said. No reason was given, and there have not yet been any conversations with Lavine or any Medill official about the future, he added.

     

    Protess served as a Professor at the Medill School of Journalism for 29 years. He says he will continue to lead the school's famed Innocence Project.