Julie Jonas portrait

Julie Jonas

Professor
Degree
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School
B.A., University of Minnesota
Office
MSL 455
Phone
651-962-4812

Julie Jonas joined the St. Thomas Law faculty in 2022. Her scholarship focuses on wrongful convictions, specifically the fallibility of juries and the use of experts in cases involving contested forensic science.

She previously worked as the Legal Director for the Great North Innocence Project at the University of Minnesota Law School. In that position, she successfully worked to secure the release of seven innocent men from prison who were incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. While teaching and furthering her scholarship, she continues to represent two of her long-term clients on a pro bono basis on behalf of the Great North Innocence Project.

Jonas also works on policy issues. Her work was instrumental in Minnesota’s passage of the 2014 Imprisonment and Exoneration Remedies Act awarding compensation to innocent Minnesota exonerees. Under that law, she secured compensation for her innocent clients. In 2020, she worked to secure passage of a law that requires law enforcement throughout Minnesota to use best practices in conducting eyewitness identifications in order to increase reliability of identifications of actual perpetrators and decrease wrongful convictions. In 2021, she worked to secure passage of a law to track and regulate how jailhouse informants are used in criminal cases.

Jonas has been a law professor at Minnesota law schools for many years. Her focus has been the prevention of wrongful convictions and working with clinical students to screen and investigate cases of potential innocence. Jonas completed her undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Minnesota. Immediately after law school, she practiced with the Ramsey County Public Defender’s Office in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Jonas is currently on the Boards of the Conviction Review Unit at the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General and also the Minnesota Trauma Recovery Institute. She recently served on the task force that developed the Golden Valley PEACE Commission for police accountability and community engagement. She was also a founding board member for the Criminal Justice Institute at Hamline University.

Jonas is a regular presenter in the media and at Continuing Legal Education courses for lawyers and judges, as well as speaking to numerous community groups on a variety of topics. In 2022, she received the Ronald I. Meshbesher Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.


Publications

The Trouble with Eyewitness Testimony: Toward a model jury instructions on witness accounts, Co-author with Javon Bindman and David Herr, Bench and Bar of Minnesota (1/8/2020)

True Independence For Medical Examiners Equals Due Process For Criminal Defendants And More Efficiencies In The Criminal Justice System, 37 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. (2011)

Fall 2022 Courses

Fall 2022 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
LAWS 819 - 01 Criminal Procedure 1 M - W - - - - 1030 - 1155 MSL 334

Days of Week:

M - W - - - -

Time of Day:

1030 - 1155

Location:

MSL 334

Course Registration Number:

43630 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

Instructor:

Julie A. Jonas

This course will explore law enforcement interactions with individuals and the ways in which constitutional constraints upon governmental investigative practices limit the use of evidence in criminal trials. In particular, students will examine interactions during police stops, searches and seizures, arrests and interrogation and will view all of these interactions in light of the rights conferred through the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
LAWS 821 - 01 Wrongful Convictions - - - R - - - 1710 - 1905 MSL 458

Days of Week:

- - - R - - -

Time of Day:

1710 - 1905

Location:

MSL 458

Course Registration Number:

43661 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

Instructor:

Julie A. Jonas

Taught in conjunction with the Innocence Project of Minnesota, this course will educate students about the causes of wrongful convictions. As part of their midterm and final examinations, student will be required to evaluate in- mate applications for assistance submitted to the Innocence Project of Minnesota. Enrollment is limited to 20.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-term 2023 Courses

J-term 2023 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Spring 2023 Courses

Spring 2023 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
LAWS 615 - 01 Criminal Law - T - R - - - 1030 - 1155 MSL 321

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1030 - 1155

Location:

MSL 321

Course Registration Number:

22781 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

3 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Julie A. Jonas

This course will examine the origins, development, purposes and application of the criminal law, which may be the most direct expression of a society's collective morality. The class will be both theoretical and practical. Students will study and discuss theories of crime and punishment, as well as the real-life consequences of enforcing these theories in an imperfect world. Students will learn the general prin- ciples of criminal liability and related defenses, the ele- ments of various crimes, the nature of criminal acts and the requisite mental states. The course will emphasize heavily the ethics of criminalizing behavior and society's treatment of criminal wrongdoers.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
LAWS 820 - 01 Criminal Procedure II M - W - - - - 1330 - 1455 MSL 238

Days of Week:

M - W - - - -

Time of Day:

1330 - 1455

Location:

MSL 238

Course Registration Number:

22804 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

Instructor:

Julie A. Jonas

This course will cover the trial and appeal stages of a criminal prosecution and include such issues as the prosecutor's discretion in charging, the use of the grand jury, plea bargaining, speedy trial provisions, the right to jury trial, confrontation of witnesses, burdens of proof, jury deliberations, double jeopardy, and sentencing. Other issues may include ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, state court grounds for denying relief, exhaustion of claims and miscarriages of justice. Prerequisite: LAWS 819

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)