CPCS Innocence Program
21 McGrath Highway, 2nd floor
Somerville, MA 02143
Lisa M. Kavanaugh, Send Email
In her capacity as Director of the Innocence Program, Ms. Kavanaugh evaluates and litigates potentially meritorious Massachusetts innocence claims and provides litigation support and oversight of funding for the investigation and expert resources needed to successfully litigate these claims. She is also actively involved in developing statewide training programs on forensic evidence. In 2013, she formed a Working Group of criminal justice leaders that is focused on improving access to post-conviction DNA analysis and secured federal funding to support this work. Ms. Kavanaugh first joined CPCS in 2002 as a staff attorney in the Somerville Superior Court trial unit. From 2007-2009, she worked in the Appeals Unit and litigated numerous felony appeals. She is a 1996 graduate of Yale University and a 2000 graduate of Harvard Law School. From 2000-2002, she served as a Prettyman Clinical Teaching Fellow with the Criminal Justice Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. A frequent lecturer at MCLE and CPCS training programs, she has also served as an Adjunct Professor with the Innocence Clinic at Boston College Law School and a Visiting Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. She presently serves on the Forensic Science Oversight Board and the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Eyewitness Identification. She also serves on the boards of the New England Innocence Project and the national Innocence Network.
Ira Gant, Send Email
Ira Gant reviews and litigates innocence claims in Massachusetts trial and appellate courts and supervises, advises, and trains attorneys handling state innocence cases. He is also the Innocence Program’s liaison for a federally funded Working Group of Massachusetts criminal justice stakeholders that aims to improve tracking and storage of evidence collected in criminal cases. Mr. Gant first joined CPCS in 2010, as a trial attorney in the Public Defender Division. He later served a rotation with CPCS’s Alternative Commitment Unit, representing those individuals the state sought to incarcerate to life sentences through civil commitment laws. A frequent lecturer on issues including post-conviction DNA testing, cognitive bias, and public records, he presently sits on the Innocence Network’s Amicus Committee and Complex DNA Working Group. Mr. Gant graduated from Northeastern University School of Law and the University of North Carolina.
Rob Selevitch, Send Email
Rob first joined CPCS as a staff investigator in the Somerville Superior Court office in 2009, and he has served as a regional supervisor for Public Defender Division investigators in Middlesex and Essex Counties since 2011. In December 2015, he was hired to serve as the Lead Innocence Program Investigator (IPI), a position created with federal grant funding from the Wrongful Conviction Review Program. In his capacity as Lead IPI, Rob works closely with attorneys to develop comprehensive and thoughtful investigation plans. He has investigated over a dozen innocence cases from around the state, working with both in-house and panel post-conviction attorneys.
Kristen Gondim, Send Email
As the Innocence Program Support Specialist, Kristen Gondim oversees the workflow of intakes, screenings, and assignments and assists with preliminary case review of new applications for assistance. She serves as the liaison between IP staff, applicants, clients, panel attorneys, investigators, and other program partners and manages data collection for grant progress reports.
Legal Fellows & Grant Law Clerks
The Innocence Program currently has one full time post-graduate legal fellow, Lauren Rossman, a 2019 graduate of Boston College Law School, and one part-time grant funded legal fellow, Meaghan Sheridan, a 2019 graduate of Boston University Law School.