Feature Stories

Gloria Killian:  Exoneree and strong voice for justiceGloria Killian

Gloria Killian was wrongfully convicted of murder due to prosecutorial misconduct and perjury, and spent 17½ years in prison before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit overturned her conviction in 2002. Despite her devastating losses and derailed career plans—she had been a law student at the time of the murder—Gloria has become a tireless advocate for women behind bars and for criminal justice. She has written a book about her case, and CNN is featuring her story as part of its Death Row Stories series, highlighting the critical role that Sally Ride’s mother Joyce Ride played in gaining Gloria’s freedom. Gloria is Executive Director of Action Committee For Women In Prison and hosts a weekly radio show called Women Behind the Wall.

Gloria attended the Women’s Project launch in November 2012 and our conference in March 2014. For more information about her wrongful conviction, see her exoneree story on our web site.

A Long Journey Home for Kristine BunchKristine Bunch

Kristine Bunch’s 3-year-old son Tony was the center of her world. Nonetheless, she was convicted of murdering him after a tragic but accidental trailer home fire took his life in 1995.  Read about her long journey from prison to freedom in this excellent feature story in the Indianapolis Monthly magazine.  Cases like Kristine’s inspired the formation of the Center on Wrongful Convictions Women’s Project.  More...

"San Antonio 4" women proclaim their innocence after being released as a result of new Texas law concerning changes in forensic science.

The three remaining women of the "San Antonio 4" were released from prison on Monday, November 18 after spending more than 10 years in prison (the fourth women was paroled last year). The "San Antonio 4" were convicted of molesting two girls in a case with similarities to the controversial day care abuse cases that were in the news years ago. The four women have always maintained their innocence and received the right to a new trial because of a new law in Texas, Senate Bill 344. This law allows courts to grant defendants new trials in cases in which forensic science has evolved since the conviction. The two alleged victims' trial transcripts contain inconsistencies, but, more importantly, the key medical witness's testimony as to the timing of the alleged injury was cast into doubt by scientific advances. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will decide whether to grant them a new trial but the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney has indicated that he will decline to prosecute them. The women will now attempt to receive a declaration of actual innocence.

To read more about these women's experience, see 'San Antonio 4' speak out after prison release: 'We're actually innocent' - U.S. News - blog NBC.NEWS

Nicole Harris exonerated in Illinois

Nicole Harris

June 17, 2013 - Cook County prosecutors dropped all charges against Nicole Harris, a client of the Center on Wrongful Convictions and Jenner & Block LLP who was convicted eight years ago of strangling her 4-year-old son, Jaquari Dancy, to death.

The Cook County medical examiner initially ruled the death accidental, but changed the cause to homicide after learning that Harris had confessed on videotape. The confession, which Harris said was false and coerced, came after 27 hours of intermittent interrogation by detectives at Chicago Police Area 5 headquarters. The interrogation occurred two months before an Illinois law requiring police to record the entire custodial interrogation of murder suspects went into effect.

Although the recording equipment required by the new law was in place, detectives chose to record only Harris's statement and nothing that preceded it. Harris's exoneration is the 89th in Cook County since 1989, according to the National Registry of Exonerations, and the 33rd to have been wrongfully convicted based on an unreliable confession. More...