James Mayer is a Staff Attorney with the Great North Innocence Project. The Great North Innocence Project works to free the wrongfully convicted and to prevent wrongful convictions from occurring in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. James screens, investigates, and litigates cases involving claims of actual innocence, and he advocates for reforms that would increase fairness, accuracy, equity, and accountability in our criminal justice system. Before joining the Great North Innocence Project, James spent more than a decade as a private practice litigator. During his time in private practice, James was involved in innocence work as a pro bono attorney, including death penalty cases in Louisiana. James was co-lead counsel in the post-conviction case of Michael Wearry, whose capital conviction was vacated by the United States Supreme Court in 2016. See Wearry v. Cain, 577 U.S. 385 (2016). James also played a key role in the creation and development of the Minnesota Conviction Review Unit, one of just a handful of state-wide conviction review units in the United States, part of a groundbreaking partnership between the Great North Innocence Project and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.

Staff Attorney
Great North Innocence Project