Professor Valena Elizabeth Beety is professor of law at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the deputy director of the Academy for Justice, a criminal justice center connecting research with policy reform. Previously, Beety served as a law professor and the founding director of the West Virginia Innocence Project at the West Virginia University College of Law. Her experiences as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., and as an innocence litigator in Mississippi and West Virginia, shape her research and writing on wrongful convictions, forensic evidence, the opioid crisis and incarceration. She is the co-author of the newly published Wrongful Convictions Reader (2018). Professor Beety has successfully exonerated wrongfully convicted clients, obtained presidential grants of clemency for drug offenses, and served as an elected board member of the national Innocence Network, an invited board member of the Research Center on Violence, and an appointed commissioner on the West Virginia Governor's Indigent Defense Commission.
At West Virginia University, Beety created and was the inaugural director of the first Forensic Justice LL.M. degree program in the United States, and a founding member of the Appalachian Justice Initiative. She received the WVU College of Law Faculty Scholarship Award in 2016 and her scholarship is published widely, most notably in the Northwestern Law Review, the North Carolina Law Review, the Ohio State Law Journal, the Washington Law Review and the Florida Law Review. Before serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Beety clerked for the Honorable Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and for the Honorable Chief Judge James G. Carr of the Northern District of Ohio. Beety holds a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Chicago.