Justice Franklin D. Cleckley

Remembering Justice Cleckley

The West Virginia Innocence Project and the WVU College of Law is saddened to hear of the passing of former West Virginia State Supreme Court Justice Franklin D. Cleckley. 

Justice Cleckley had history as the state's first African-American Supreme Court Justice. Justice Cleckley died in his home in Morgantown, West Virginia on August 14, 2017. 

Justice Cleckley was born in Huntington, West Virginia and would later earn his undergraduate degree at Anderson College before completing his J.D. at Indiana University. He then completed his L.L.M at Harvard University. 

The West Virginia University College of Law was lucky to have Justice Cleckley as a member of our law school faculty beginning in 1969 and again in 1996 after he left the state Supreme Court. 

Justice Cleckley is honored at the West Virginia Innocence Project with the fellowship program in his name. We are saddened by his passing, but will continue to uphold the values that Justice Cleckley built his life and career on.