May 28, 2009
ATLANTA - Georgia State University College of Law student Christina Rupp is the 2009 recipient of the Leeza Cherniak Memorial Scholarship to the Georgia Innocence Project (GIP).
Rupp will serve this summer as a senior intern at GIP. She has volunteered and served as an intern for more than a year at the nonprofit legal organization, which works to exonerate the wrongly convicted. Rupp is s rising third-year law student and serves as a member of Law Review. She earned her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University in 2005.
“I am deeply honored to receive this scholarship,” Rupp said. “”It allows Ms. Cherniak’s memory to live on and continue her life’s passion through students like myself.”
Cherniak, who died in 2007 at the age of 43, was a highly respected criminal defense attorney. This is the second year that donations in Cherniak’s memory have funded a scholarship at GIP.
According to GIP Director Aimee Maxwell, “Leeza’s work helped so many people who needed a strong advocate in the criminal justice, and Christina’s work will be vital in helping to free the innocent. So many people depended on Leeza for help, and I think she would like the fact that an organization such as the Georgia Innocence Project, where we rely so heavily on our interns, is part of her legacy.”
Eleven law students representing seven law schools will serve at GIP this summer under the direction of Maxwell and Rupp. They will investigate claims of wrongful conviction in Georgia and Alabama.
Tax-deductible donations to the Leeza Cherniak Memorial Scholarship Fund can be made by sending a check to the Georgia Innocence Project or online at www.ga-innocenceproject.org/donations.html.