University of Cincinnati Receives $15 Million for Innocence Project

The University of Cincinnati has announced a $15 million gift from Richard "Dick" Rosenthal to bolster the Ohio Innocence Project at its College of Law.

The largest gift in the university's history will enable OIP, which is based at the law school's Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice, to boost its recruitment of top students and faculty and bolster key programming. In addition, the gift will establish three Lois and Richard Rosenthal Clinical Professors of Law positions at the college. Each year, about twenty students spend a year working on criminal cases, digging through files, interviewing witnesses, writing case briefs, and applying their knowledge of forensic techniques such as DNA testing to those cases. In recognition of the gift, OIP students will be identified as Rosenthal Student Fellows.

In 2004, Dick and his late wife, Lois, gave $1 million to create and endow the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice. The primary component of the institute is OIP, the mission of which is to identify and free every currently incarcerated person in Ohio who is innocent.

"I'm proud to help ensure [OIP's] life-saving work continues now and forever," said Rosenthal. "Thank you to everyone who has helped make the OIP so successful in its mission — I'm inspired daily by the students, faculty, and staff who work tirelessly in the pursuit of justice."

"Record-Breaking Gift to Benefit the Ohio Innocence Project at UC’s College of Law." University of Cincinnati Press Release 09/13/2016.