For those who did not have the opportunity to meet or work with our former Legal Assistant, Joyce Mayer, it is hard to put into words what she meant to all of us. For that reason, we were deeply saddened by her sudden passing on March 16, 2018. She was the heart and soul of the Oklahoma Innocence Project and it was only fitting that the OCU School of Law and OKIP joined together as a community for a celebration of Joyce’s life and her unwavering commitment to freeing the innocent and wrongfully convicted.
Having some tremendous shoes to fill, we were fortunate enough to hire Cheryl Burns as our Legal Assistant to continue the passion Joyce displayed in helping those who have been unjustly incarcerated. Cheryl previously volunteered in the clinic under Joyce’s guidance and was able to step in and carry on with the same passion Joyce had to help free the innocent. Cheryl is well-versed with the legal system, having spent 15 years as a paralegal in a law firm environment and 15 years as a paralegal and risk management specialist in the corporate legal environment. Cheryl brings the strength of her experience, background and desire to assist in making OKIP the gold standard for wrongful conviction clinics around the country.