In 2007, Sally Clark died of alcohol poisoning after failing to recover from her overturned conviction and imprisonment in the UK. Her psychiatric and substance abuse issues stemmed from the alleged murders of her two sons, one in 1996 and the other in 1998. She was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison for smothering and shaking her children to death. In January 2003, her convictions were all overturned on the basis that the boys’ deaths were from natural causes, that certain evidence had not been disclosed, and that testimony from medical experts was not credible. However, like many falsely accused victims, her life would never be the same again.
After her infant sons’ deaths in 1991 and 1999, British mother Angela Clark served one year of a life sentence for smothering her children. Further investigation revealed that her family had a significant history of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, having lost a daughter in 1989 to SIDS before the boys’ births. Her grandmother and great-grandmother had lost children in similar ways. In 2003, her conviction was overturned. Clark struggled to rebuild her life after her release and now fights for other mothers who are wrongfully accused of the same crime.
Imagine being falsely accused of rape by your own daughter. That’s what happened to Thomas Kennedy who spent 10 years in prison after his daughter accused him of raping her on three separate occasions in 2001. Physical evidence was presented along with detailed accounts of the rapes by 11-year-old Cassandra Kennedy. Cassandra was a troubled girl who was upset over her parents’ divorce along with her father’s drinking and marijuana use and had made threats against her school just before bringing forward the accusations against her father. Ten years later, 22-year-old Cassandra went to the police and claimed that she had made the whole thing up. Her father was released in 2012 and was compensated with over $500,000 in damages by the state of Washington.
Nora Wall is a former Irish nun of the Sisters of Mercy who was wrongfully convicted of rape in June 1999 and served four days of a life sentence in July 1999 before her conviction was quashed. Wall was the first woman in the history of the Irish State to be convicted of rape, the first person to receive a life sentence for rape, and the only person in the history of the state to be convicted on repressed memory evidence.
Richard Jewell was a security guard working the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, when he delivered a suspicious package to police. Soon after, the bomb inside the package detonated, killing two and injuring over 100. Because of the abundance of interviews that he gave after the bombing, the FBI began to suspect Jewell of planing the bomb in order to be perceived as a hero in the media. It took months of interrogation to clear him of any wrong doing. As a result, Jewell sued several media outlets for libel and slander.