In Memoriam: Karen L. Daniel, 1957-2019

Karen L. Daniel, professor emerita of law at Northwestern University and the former director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at the university, was killed when she was struck by a pick-up truck while she was walking her dog in Oak Park, Illinois. She was 62 years old.

At Northwestern, Professor Daniel supervised second- and third-year law students who represented convicted persons with claims of innocence in state and federal court proceedings and before the governor’s clemency board. During her time at the Center for Wrongful Convictions, Professor Daniel represented more than 20 clients who were exonerated or released from prison.

“Karen was a fierce, tenacious and brilliant lawyer-advocate whose life’s work was fighting for justice,” said Kimberly Yuracko, dean of Northwestern Pritzker Law. “She was universally beloved by her students, clients, and colleagues, and her passing is felt near and far. It is a huge loss for the Law School and the innocence movement, and she will be dearly missed.”

At the time of her death, Professor Daniel was preparing to begin working at the Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago. She was also planning to work with the Northwestern Prison Education Program to teach legal research and writing to inmates at Stateville Correctional Center.

Professor Daniel was a graduate of the University of California, Davis and Harvard Law School.

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