Jacqueline McMurtrie

  • Professor Emeritus of Law


Email: jackiem@uw.edu


B.G.S., 1978, University of Michigan J.D., 1983, University of Michigan

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise

Criminal Law and Procedure — DNA Evidence — Innocence and Wrongful Conviction

Selected Publications

  • Jacqueline McMurtrie, A Tale of Two Innocence Clinics: Client Representation and Legislative Advocacy, in Wrongful Convictions and the DNA Revolution: Twenty-Five Years of Freeing the Innocent 117-36 (Daniel S. Medwed ed., Cambridge Univ. Press, 2017).
  • Jacqueline McMurtrie, Strange Bedfellows: Can Insurers Play a Role in Advancing Gideon's Promise?,45 Hofstra L. Rev. 391-416 (2016).
  • Jacqueline McMurtrie, The Unindicted Co-Ejaculator and Necrophilia: Addressing Prosecutors' Logic-Defying Reponses to Exculpatory DNA Results, 105 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 853-79 (2015).

See the full list under the Publications tab below.

Jacqueline McMurtrie joined the faculty in 1989 after a career as a public defender. In 1997, she founded the Washington Innocence Project (formerly Innocence Project Northwest) - the nation's third innocence organization - and served as Director until 2015. As Director, Prof. McMurtrie led IPNW's growth from its roots as a volunteer effort to a law clinic and finally into a non-profit organization. To date, the Washington Innocence Project has exonerated 15 people who collectively served over 100 years in prison for crimes they did not commit and successfully advocated for Washington laws to compensate the wrongly convicted and to preserve biological evidence.  Professor McMurtrie is a founding member of the Innocence Network, an affiliation of 67 organizations from all over the world.

Professor McMurtrie'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 2012, Professor McMurtrie received the University of Washington Outstanding Public Service Award, which recognizes UW faculty and staff members who exhibit exemplary contributions to the common good through public service. 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. In 2019, she received the University Faculty Lecture award, honoring a faculty member whose research or scholarship has been widely recognized by their peers, and whose achievements have had a substantial impact on their profession and society as a whole.

Professor McMurtrie's research and teaching interests revolve primarily around criminal law and appellate/post-conviction practice, with an emphasis on wrongful convictions. Her scholarship has been cited by United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, eight of our States' highest courts, and several intermediary courts of appeal. Professor McMurtrie received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan.

Peer Reviewed Journals & Law Reviews

Book Chapters

Book Reviews

Professional Publications

  • Jackie McMurtrie & Fred Leatherman, Righting Wrongs: Innocence Project Northwest Formed to Address Wrongful Convictions, Wash. Crim. Def., Nov. 1997, at 17.

  • Panelist, "The Pursuit of Justice: Law, Leadership, and the Role of the Civil Rights Activist", The Center for Civil and Human Rights, Gonzaga University School of Law (September 1, 2018)
  • Panelist, "The Future of Forensic Science Reform", 2018 Law Review Symposium, Georgia State University Law School (April 1, 2018)
  • Keynote, "The 14th Amendment – Transforming American Democracy", 2017 Kitsap Law Day Ceremony, (May 1, 2017)
  • Panelist, "Innocence Scholarship", Conference, Innocence Network (April 7, 2016)
  • Panelist, "Factual Innocence and Finality", Spring Meeting, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (April 1, 2016)
  • Panelist, "Wrongful Conviction", 2016 Superior Court Judges' Spring Program, (April 1, 2016)
  • Speaker, "Innocence Project Northwest", Fall 2015 CLE Seminar, Benton & Franklin Counties Office of Public Defense (October 9, 2015)
  • Moderator, "What Have We Learned from a Quarter Century of DNA Exonerations?", Wrongful Convictions and the DNA Revolution: 25 Years of Freeing the Innocent, Northeastern School of Law (September 1, 2015)
  • Speaker, "Preparing a State PRP: Investigation and Issue Determination", After the Appeal: Personal Restraint Petitions and Federal Habeas Corpus Relief, (February 1, 2015)
  • Panelist, "Innocence Network Amicus Brief Impact", 2014 Innocence Network Conference, (April 1, 2014)
  • Speaker, "Using Formal Discovery to Develop Evidence of Innocence in Habeas Cases", 2013 Innocence Network Conference, (April 20, 2013)
  • Speaker, "Teaching the Law in a Clinic Environment", 2013 Innocence Network Conference, (April 20, 2013)
  • Speaker, "The Rise of the Exoneration Movement in the United States", Faculty Colloquium, University of Washington School of Law (January 30, 2013)
  • Panelist, "Standards and Implementation of the New Rule", Second Annual Conference on Public Defense, The Defender Initiative (March 1, 2012)
  • Speaker, "Eyewitness Evidence & True Innocence", 2011 Conference, Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (December 1, 2011)