Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

California Innocence Project Frees Another Client

Justin Brooks, project director of the California Innocence Project, in Berke...

Credit: Justin Brooks

Above: Justin Brooks, project director of the California Innocence Project, in Berkeley ahead of a 100-mile march to Sacramento on September 30, 2018.

KPBS Midday Edition Segments podcast branding

After 29 years in prison for murdering her three children in a Los Angeles County house fire, JoAnn Parks was granted clemency and paroled. Her attorneys from the California Innocence ... Read more →

Aired: January 19, 2021 | Transcript

Convicted nearly three decades ago for an arson fire that killed her three children, JoAnn Parks had been in prison for first degree murder with no possibility for parole ever since — until Tuesday.

Ten years after an arson review panel concluded the fire was most likely an accident and that the evidence used to incriminate her would not hold up under scrutiny today, Parks walked out of prison, thanks to the determined attorneys at the California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law.

Justin Brooks, director of the California Innocence Project and Raquel Cohen, the lead attorney in the JoAnn Parks case, described the lengths they went to to gain attention for Parks' case, including a 700-plus mile walk to Sacramento and the attempt to build a model of the apartment to prove the fire was an accident.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Midday Edition banner

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.