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March 18, 2013

Destruction of Innocence: St. Francis Professor Fights to Overturn Wrongful Conviction

Last year Sociology Professor Emily Horowitz introduced students and the St. Francis community to Civil Rights Attorney Ron Kuby and his client Jesse Friedman, who appeared in the documentary, Capturing the Friedmans, which takes a look at alleged misconduct by Nassau County police in the conviction of Friedman for sexually abusing a string of young children.

Now Professor Horowitz brings back Friedman and Kuby and shares a new video reel of recently uncovered evidence that points further to Friedman's innocence on Tuesday, April 09 at 4:00 PM in Room 4202.

Kuby and Friedman have been fighting for almost a decade to get that conviction overturned. Professor Horowitz, who runs a class and special lecture series on wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice, and directs the Institute for Peace and Justice at St. Francis College, has added some academic support to the battle.

She recently authored, Destruction of Innocence: The Friedman Case: How Coerced Testimony & Confessions Harm Children, Families & Communities for Decades after the Wrongful Convictions Occur with renowned security and predation expert Gavin De Becker (UCLA, and bestselling author, The Gift of Fear). This 42 page brief highlights the absurdity of the charges and offers a societal context of the hysteria surrounding these types of cases.

The paper also includes new testimony from witnesses who say they were coerced into making false accusations about Friedman.

The report has been featured on Hollywood news website Movieline and is providing background to a series of related stories in other mainstream media outlets.

“We hope that the attention from these stories will help get Jesse cleared once and for all,” said Professor Horowitz.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice is expected to soon release the results of an investigation into the conviction which may results in Friedman being exonerated. Jesse’s supporters have a petition available on http://www.justiceforjesse.com.

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.

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