Meet Our Speakers

Amelia Maxfield

Amelia is an Assistant Public Defender in Montgomery County Maryland, where she handles a diverse felony and misdemeanor docket. Prior to becoming a Public Defender, Amelia served as Post-Conviction counsel at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers where she coordinated the FBI Microscopic Hair Comparison Analysis Review. That historic effort was a partnership between the Innocence Project, NACDL, and the FBI and Department of Justice to review FBI Microscopic Hair Comparison evidence presented by the FBI in criminal cases for decades. Microscopic Hair Comparison has been a factor in at least 74 exoneration cases. The coalition reviewed over 1, 500 historic cases involving microscopic hair comparison and found that FBI agents made erroneous statements in over 95% of testimony reviewed. In addition to using this flawed forensic technique themselves, the FBI trained hundreds of state and local hair analysts to give the same erroneous testimony. As Post-Conviction Counsel Amelia spearheaded the effort to institute state and local level microscopic hair comparison reviews. During her tenure she helped establish over a dozen state reviews, developed best practices and resources, and consulted regularly on state and local review efforts. Amelia graduated cum laude from the University Of Wisconsin Law School in 2015. She is a member of the Order of the Coif. Her prior experience is in post-conviction and innocence work. She has contributed to academic work on false confessions, eyewitness identification reform, shaken baby syndrome, and flawed forensic science. She is a 2010 graduate of Vassar College.

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