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Innocence Project's Morrison Confirmed As Federal Judge

The U.S. Senate confirmed Nina Morrison as a federal judge in Brooklyn, placing a senior lawyer at the Innocence Project who has focused her career on exonerating the wrongly convicted on the federal bench, reports Reuters. The Senate voted 53-46 to approve President Biden's nomination of Morrison to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York over Republican claims that she supported "soft on crime" polices. Morrison was among a series of civil rights litigators recommended for New York's federal courts by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and will be the second openly LGBT+ judge in the Eastern District. Since Biden took office, 66 of his 95 circuit and district court nominees have won confirmation. Democrats are pushing to confirm as many as possible before they could lose their 50-50 control of the Senate.


Morrison has worked since 2002 at the Innocence Project, a nonprofit dedicated to exonerating the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and by advocating for reforms to the criminal justice system. She has helped about 30 wrongly convicted people to be freed from prison or death row. "Nina's work on exoneration cases has infused her with a passion for justice but also humility and a holistic view of the criminal and civil legal systems," said Innocence Project co-founder Barry Scheck. She was a transition advisor for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in 2017 and Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón in 2020, both of whom have declined to prosecute certain nonviolent crimes. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) complained that she had made "a business of supporting these soft-on-crime prosecutors" whose policies contribute to a rise in murders. Morrison said she favored successful murder prosecutions, noting that, "When the wrong person is convicted of murder, the person who has actually committed the crime isn't brought to justice."

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