BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Proving Innocence (PI) is a grassroots movement and is governed by a dedicated group of citizens who volunteer to combat the injustice of wrongful convictions. The purpose of the Board is to establish PI’s direction and oversee the fulfillment of its mission. The requirement for Board membership is to have a passion about wrongful convictions, helping innocent individuals, and reforming the system that has caused so much suffering. Participation is welcome both face-to-face and on-line. Inquiries may be directed to any of the board members.

Charles Bell

Dr. Charles Bell is an assistant professor in the Criminal Justice Sciences department at Illinois State University. He is a recipient of the 2017 American Society of Criminology Ruth D. Peterson Fellowship for Racial and Ethnic Diversity. His research and teaching interests focus on racial inequality in school punishment, policing, and wrongful conviction.

Charles' interest in wrongful convictions stems from evidence that shows approximately three individuals are exonerated every week in the United States. As a result of the startling exoneration rate and the impact wrongful convictions have on families, Charles is deeply dedicated to helping those who are affected by this tragic experience.

 

You may email Charles at ChuckBell85@yahoo.com.

Kate Branham

Kate Branham is an Account Manager with United Wholesale Mortgage. A graduate of Wayne State University, Kate received her degree in Business Administration and Marketing. Most of her career has been involved with sales, as well as raising 7 children with Bill. Intimate understanding of crime victim’s rights and psychology, as well as strong family ties to the justice department, Kate has had a lifelong interest in U.S. justice and law. Her passion is to help improve systemic wrongs in America’s criminal justice and legal systems. Her studies in January 2007 when she attended a grad level course, Wrongful Convictions taught by Marvin Zalman, brought her to help form Proving Innocence.

You may email Kate at katebranham@gmail.com.

Bill Branham - Secretary

Bill retired in 2018, having served as a Network Administrator at SEMCOG (Southeast Michigan Council of Governments) for 20 years. He grew up in the Chicago area and received a B.A. from Northwestern University.

Bill has always had a heart for oppressed people. When his wife, Kate, took the class Wrongful Convictions taught by Dr. Marvin Zalman, now one of PI's advisers, Bill became keenly interested. The Branhams helped found PI with Bill Proctor. Bill Branham has remained actively involved ever since, including the development and maintenance of PI's original and new website.

 

Bill and Kate have been married for 16 years and have 7 children, ages 23 to 37.  You may contact Bill at billb133@yahoo.com.

Michelle Jacobs - Vice President

Michelle has had her own unfortunate experience with wrongful conviction. Her younger brother, Roy, served prison time in Pennsylvania for crimes he did not commit. After witnessing the devastation wrought by a justice system that too often fails the innocent, Michelle sought out Proving Innocence and offered her support. She is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Wayne State University. Michelle is the driving force behind PI's social networking.

You may email Michelle at chelle.jacobs@gmail.com.

Zieva Konvisser

Dr. Zieva Dauber Konvisser earned her PhD in human development at Fielding Graduate University. She is a Fellow of the Institute for Social Innovation at Fielding and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Wayne State University. As a researcher, her work focuses on the human impact of traumatic events, such as terrorism, genocide, combat, and wrongful conviction, and the possibility of positive change. Her passion is to give voice to trauma survivors, in particular the innocent women who have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated, and to learn from them about their experiences and their unique qualities and needs. She is the Oral Historian at the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus in Farmington Hills, MI, served on the National Commission on American Jewish Women, and is currently on the international board of the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma, the advisory board of Strength to Strength, and the board of Proving Innocence. She is the author of Living Beyond Terrorism: Israeli Stories of Hope and Healing and publishes and presents her scholarly work both nationally and internationally.

You may write Zieva at zkonvisser@comcast.net.

Errol Liverpool - President

Errol Liverpool was born in Guyana, South America, and is the seventh of thirteen children. He holds a BA in Theology from the University of Southern Caribbean (1980), and an MA in Counseling from Andrews University, Berrien Springs Michigan (1986). He also holds a PhD. in Counselor Education from Wayne State University, Detroit Michigan (2001).

He is the President of Clear Choices Counseling and Psychiatry, a full service out-patient psychiatric facility. He has served as an adjunct professor at Wayne State University since 1998. He also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit, Mercy and currently serves in the same capacity at Spring Arbor University. Dr. Liverpool became interested in wrongful convictions after watching a 60 Minutes piece in (1984) on Lenell Geter, a 26 year old African American mechanical engineer, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for holding up a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise, a crime he did not commit. Errol and his wife, Nathalie, wed in 1981, have two adult daughters, Toula and Meika, who are both married. Dr. and Mrs. Liverpool are the proud grandparents of two beautiful grand daughters. 
Dr. Liverpool is member of several professional organizations and has written several articles. He is passionate about lending his skills and expertise to those who are in need, and has given expert testimony in several custody cases. Dr. Liverpool is an ordained minister and is passionate about fighting for the wrongfully convicted.

You may email Errol at errolliverpool@yahoo.com.

Dave Sanders

David Sanders is retired Executive Vice President of Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC). MAC is a public/private partnership dedicated to improving Greater Detroit’s quality of life and creating economic opportunity through regional cooperation. A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Mr. Sanders received a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Michigan University and a Master of Urban Planning from Wayne State University. He is also a graduate of the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Mr. Sanders is a Charter Member of the American Institute of Certified Planners as well as a graduate of Leadership Detroit. He currently serves as a Board Member and Secretary of the Detroit Midtown Academy, a public charter school in Detroit.

You may email Dave at boyddsanders@gmail.com.

Ashley Werry - Treasurer

Ashley Werry is a Commercial Underwriter and the National Business Coordinator with Chicago Title Insurance Company. During her time as an undergraduate student at Appalachian State University, Ashley was introduced to wrongful convictions by one of her professors. She obtained a bachelor’s of pre-law and a bachelor’s of criminal justice and worked for a criminal defense attorney in Boone, North Carolina for three years. It was there that she became more familiar with the injustices of the criminal system. Her passion for justice led her to graduate school at Wayne State University in the Criminal Justice Department where she met Dr. Marvin Zalman. Dr. Zalman further exposed her to miscarriages of justice and introduced her to Proving Innocence.

You may email Ashley at werry.ashley@gmail.com.

Bill Proctor - Honorary Board Member

William N. (Bill) Proctor, founder of Proving Innocence, was an award-winning journalist, reporter, producer, and anchorperson whose career of nearly forty years spanned electronic media, radio, television, and documentaries. He concluded his career as senior staff reporter for WXYZ-TV in Southfield, MI. In May 2013, Bill "retired" and started Bill Proctor and Associates, a communications consulting firm. In 2017 Bill formed a new group, which looks at a multitude of issues surrounding wrongful convictions, which go beyond the scope of Proving Innocence.

 

In the mid-1990s, he produced a series of specials on the slaying of community-college student, Scott Macklem. Through his investigations, Bill became convinced that Frederick Freeman (Temujin Kensu), the man convicted of killing Macklem, was not guilty. His passion for redressing this injustice led Bill to found Proving Innocence in 2007.

 

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Bill received his degree in Sociology and Corrections with a minor in Journalism. He has been married to his wife Miranda for more than twenty years. They have three children and three grandchildren.

 

You may email Bill at https://www.seekingjusticebp.com.

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