Janis C. Puracal is the Executive Director of the Forensic Justice Project. Ms. Puracal is a litigator with over a decade of experience in trial and appellate work in state and federal courts. She has encouraged decisions based on sound science in civil and criminal cases and has been instrumental in advocating for changes in the law based on developments in various fields of scientific study.
Ms. Puracal was a young civil litigator when her brother, Jason, was wrongfully convicted in Nicaragua, and she became devoted to innocence work after she successfully represented Jason in an international campaign to win his exoneration and bring him home. Jason was freed in September 2012 after nearly two years in captivity. Ms. Puracal's work included briefing in Nicaraguan and international courts, diplomatic relations in the U.S. and Nicaragua, lobbying on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., and media appearances on a national and international level, including CNN, Reuters, and The Today Show.
Since Jason's release, Ms. Puracal has continued to work with her brother to advocate for legal reform and won awards for her pro bono contributions to social justice. She is an Associate Member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark Law School where she teaches a course on wrongful convictions. Janis continues to work to prevent and correct wrongful convictions through the Forensic Justice Project.