May 2, 2011 — Debra Brown, a Logan woman convicted of the 1993 murder of her friend and employer and imprisoned since 1995, has been found innocent by Judge Michael DiReda, thanks to the efforts of the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center, a nonprofit organization that works to “correct and prevent the conviction of innocent people.” The Center has worked on Brown’s matter since 2002.
Brown’s case was the first to be filed after a 2008 change in Utah state law allowed for a hearing based on the facts in the case if new evidence is discovered, even if the new evidence is not DNA evidence. The Rocky Mountain Innocence Center was instrumental in the passage of the law. Jensie Anderson, a clinical professor at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, is the Center’s president, and students from the College of Law who participated in the College’s Innocence Clinic researched Brown’s case.
At press time, it was unclear whether prosecutors would appeal the judge’s ruling.