Wrongful Convictions: Notre Dame law students pursue exoneration cases in nearby Elkhart

Author: Brendan O'Shaughnessy

Wrongful Convictions

Elliot Slosar was in a Zoom meeting in April with Notre Dame law students working on a wrongful conviction case when he got a call asking him to pick up Andy Royer, whom a judge had just freed after 16 years in prison.

“The students watched me freak out,” said Slosar, a Chicago attorney and co-teacher of the Notre Dame Exoneration Justice Clinic (NDEJC). “Oh my God, we just won Andy’s trial. One of the students got to meet us at the jail with Professor [Jimmy] Gurulé and Andy’s family. There are moments like that that you can’t recreate.”

Royer had been convicted of murder in the 2002 strangling of a 94-year-old woman who lived in his apartment building in Elkhart, a city of about 50,000 people a half hour’s drive from Notre Dame. Royer maintained that the police exploited his intellectual disability to coerce him into a false confession 10 months after the murder.

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