Jensie Anderson, Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law and board president of the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center (RMIC), has recently been interviewed by several local media outlets about Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s decision to appeal the factual innocence ruling in the Debra Brown case.
Brown, 53, spent almost 17 years in prison before being released by 2nd District Judge Michael DiReda, who found her factually innocent of the November 1993 murder of her friend and employer, Lael Brown (no relation). In a news conference, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said he feared that if the state failed to appeal “there will be a floodgate opened — that every judge out there will become another Monday morning quarterback, giving another bite of the apple to everybody who’s been convicted of a crime.”
In a Salt Lake Tribune article, Anderson responded that, “This is not something that will open the floodgates.”
After Brown’s release, Shurtleff informally announced on Twitter that the state would not appeal DiReda’s decision. Daniel Medwed, Professor of Law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law and an RMIC board member, told The Tribune that the Attorney General’s reversal showed “pettiness” and lacked courage.
Anderson was also interviewed by KSL. In response to Shurtleff’s claim that the state’s decision to appeal went beyond Debra Brown personally and was “mostly about the process,” Anderson said, “”This case is about Deb Brown. Judge DiReda applied the statute to the specific facts of Deb’s case. The statute isn’t a technicality, isn’t something that makes it easy for someone to come forward later and prove they are innocent.”
On May 29, Anderson also appeared on the KSL TV program Sunday Edition with Bruce Lindsey along with a representative from the Utah Attorney General’s office. On May 28, she appeared on KSL Newsradio’s Enid Greene Show.