The San Francisco office hosted a reception to celebrate Karla Baday’s release from prison after serving 17 years for a crime that she did not commit. Working alongside the Northern California Innocence Project, Duane Morris attorneys, Andrew Gordon, Christine Ross and William Berman represented the client pro bono in overturning her wrongful conviction. In 2002 Ms. Baday was convicted of multiple counts of child sexual abuse and received a sentence of 45 years to life. These offenses allegedly took place on a single day in less than a 2 hour period against 3 children of her former partner. At trial, one child testified the abuse never happened and other testimony was inconsistent. Our client, who spoke little English, was profoundly hampered in her defense by the appointment of an attorney who failed to cross-examine the prosecution’s witness, call available defense witnesses, challenge the unqualified prosecution expert witness, and consult or present any experts in support of the client.
The Duane Morris team entered the case successfully prevailing in a writ of habeas corpus proceeding. They argued that the client’s conviction was based on false medical evidence and that she had been prejudiced at trial by ineffective assistance of counsel. The team also found newly discovered evidence that further demonstrated our client’s innocence. Upon reversal of the client’s child molestation conviction by the trial court, she was released from prison where she was serving a 45-year-life sentence.
A the celebration, Karla Baday said, “I want to thank Duane Morris and Northern California Innocence Project for believing in me and helping me get my freedom back.
Working with you was such an awesome experience. You made me feel that my life matters and that someone cares enough to take the time to find the truth. I don’t even have enough words to express how I feel. I will always have you so close to my heart. Now I can live my life again and enjoy every moment with my family. Thank you so much once again. God bless everybody.”
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