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California Innocence Project Frees Another Client

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

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.