Witness to Innocence Panel with Dr. Katherine Beckett & IPNW

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
University of Washington School of Law
Photos of exonorees

ROOM 138 at the UW School of Law (located in William H. Gates Hall near the northwest corner of the University of Washington campus near the intersection of 15th Avenue NE and NE 43rd Street). Link to directions:https://www.law.washington.edu/about/direction/default.aspx


In 1990 SABRINA BUTLER-SMITH was sentenced to death in Mississippi for child abuse and the death of her nine-month-old son, Walter. In 1995 she was exonerated of all wrongdoing. She is one of only two women in the United States exonerated from death row. Sabrina now lives in Memphis, is blessed with three thriving children, and serves on the board of Witness to Innocence.

In 1992 RANDAL PADGETT was sentenced to death in Alabama for the rape and murder of his wife. Randal currently lives in Alabama with his wife Brenda, whom he met during his fight for freedom which he gained in 1997. He credits his strong religious faith in sustaining him through his ordeal.

DR. KATHERINE BECKETT is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Law, Societies, and Justice Program; and a faculty associate and steering committee member of the Center for Human Rights at the University of Washington. She authored the 2016 study "The Role of Race in Washington State Capital Sentencing, 1981-2014."

LARA ZAROWSKY joined IPNW as the organization’s first Policy Staff Attorney in 2010 and became Policy Director in 2012. Her work promotes systemic reforms to prevent wrongful convictions and support exonerees following release. Lara founded IPNW’s Legislative Advocacy Clinic, whose students championed the 2013 law to compensate Washington’s wrongly convicted and the 2015 law to preserve biological evidence. 

The panel will be moderated by ANNA TOLIN, Executive Director of Innocence Project Northwest and an Affiliate Instructor at UW School of Law. In support of IPNW’s mission to exonerate innocent Washington prisoners, Anna has helped secure the freedom of several IPNW clients, and she regularly lectures on the causes of wrongful convictions and how to prevent them. Prior to joining IPNW, Anna advocated for clients as a public defender and private practitioner at all levels of Washington State and U.S. federal courts. She serves on the Innocence Network’s Complex DNA Working Group, is a Past President of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and is an emeritus member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Ninth Circuit and Western District of Washington.

Witness to Innocence is the nation’s only organization dedicated to empowering exonerated death row survivors to be the most powerful and effective voice in the struggle to end the death penalty in the United States. Through public speaking, testifying in state legislatures, media work, and active participation in our nation’s cultural life, our members are helping to end the death penalty by educating the public about innocence and wrongful convictions. WTI also provides an essential network of peer support for the exonerated, most of whom received no compensation or access to reentry services when released from death row.

Co-hosted by Innocence Project Northwest, University of Washington School of Law, Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty