Melissa Berry graduated with her Juris Doctor from the University of Cincinnati College of Law last year while teaching courses in forensic psychology, social psychology and Preventing Wrongful Convictions at the University of Dayton for more than 20 years.
Originally from Madison and a 1987 graduate of Southwestern High School, Berry had previously earned her bachelor’s in psychology from Indiana University-Bloomington and her master’s and doctorate’s in psychology from the University of Cincinnati before joining the faculty at Dayton. She is the daughter of Richard and Judy Berry of Madison.
While in law school, she earned a CALI award, was on the Dean’s List, and served a year-long fellowship with the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP), which works to free factually innocent people from prison. She also serves as faculty sponsor of the undergraduate chapter of OIP at Dayton.
Berry, who has since passed her bar exam, also serves as a consultant and expert witness in criminal cases that involve eyewitness identifications and potential false confessions. She often speaks to community groups, high schools, police, law students and attorneys about procedural reforms regarding eyewitness identifications and best practices regarding lineups.
She and her husband, Dario Rodriguez, and daughter, Miranda, live in Beavercreek, Ohio, but she also owns a home in downtown Madison where she stays when visiting. Her son, Malachi, also lives in Madison.