Exonerated man shares experience with Criminal Law students

Noa Yadidi

A man who spent 17 years in prison for a crime he did not commit spoke about his experiences in prison and what his life has been like since he was exonerated to students in the Criminal Law and Advocacy classes Jan. 17.

At age 19, Obie Anthony was convicted of murder in connection with a car-jacking robbery and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Anthony maintained his innocence, and his case was taken around five years ago by the then-newly-formed Project for the Innocent at Loyola Law School under Professor Laurie Levenson (Solly Mirell ’06, Havi Mirell ’08) and senior fellow Adam Grant. Former Head Prefect Brooke Levin ’12 worked as an intern on the case, and science teacher David Hinden, a former federal prosecutor, helped her write up her findings.

Last year, a judge found that Anthony was wrongfully convicted and released him.

In designing the new Kutler Center course on Criminal Law and Advocacy, Hinden met with Levenson to connect the class to the Loyola Law School, and they decided to create a film as a way to study the case. Hinden plans on having each of the two sections of the class create their own short film telling Anthony’s story, bringing in different speakers, including Levenson and Levin, to speak to the class and be interviewed for the film.

“There is a saying that better that a hundred guilty people should go free than one innocent person should be convicted, but sometimes an innocent person is convicted and it’s important to try and right that,” Hinden said.

During his visit to the class, Anthony spoke about when he found out that he was charged for the crime.

“My favorite thing was getting to hear him tell his story himself,” Yasmin Moreno ’13 said. “We had heard about him from others and read about him in the past, but he was finally there, talking with us one-on-one. “[He] spent so much time wrongfully imprisoned, but he never gave up hope.”