Emily Maw is director of The Innocence Project New Orleans.
The Project works with prisoners in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, which have America’s highest incarceration rates.
In the past six years, the Project has overturned 12 wrongful convictions for men sentenced to life without parole.
Ms Maw is responsible for securing eight of these overturned convictions.
Ms Maw’s legal experience in America began when she was given a small project grant by the Alumni Fund to take up an internship at the Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center.
She returned to work at the Center for four years after graduation. Her caseloads included prisoners sentenced to death row for first-degree murder and rape.
While at the Center, her work contributed to saving ten people from execution.
Ms Maw's determination and spirit are quite remarkable. She has probably saved lives; she has certainly prevented innocent men from spending their lives in degrading and unwarranted penal servitude.
Professor Alexander McCall Smith
Edinburgh Alumnus of the Year 2006
This article was published on Jun 30, 2008