This Could Happen to You! Women Like You Speak Out

ZievaCropped“What Happened to Me Can Happen to Anybody” – Women Exonerees Speak Out

We are doubly delighted to be able to post the second article written by Zieva Dauber Konvisser, Ph.D. and published in a special Innocence Network issue of the Texas A&M Law Review (Fall 2015, 3). This article follows on her first article “Psychological Consequences of Wrongful Conviction in Women” that appeared in the DePaul Journal for Social Justice, (Spring 2012, 5(2)). Dr. Konvisser recently joined the board of Proving Innocence. She is an independent trauma researcher, Fellow of the Institute for Social Innovation at Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Wayne State University.

Dr. Konvisser’s research focuses on studying the human impact of traumatic events, like terrorism, genocide, combat, and wrongful conviction. Her passion is to give voice to trauma survivors, in particular the innocent women who have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated, and to learn from them about their experiences, their unique qualities and needs, the strategies that have helped them cope with their situations, and their ongoing needs to rebuild their shattered lives post-exoneration and move forward.

This Article presents findings from in-depth interviews with twenty-one exonerated women, including supporting quotes in their own voices, to address the problems particular to female exonerees and portray the emotional and psychological consequences of a wrongful conviction. By giving voice to their lived experiences, this Article seeks to personalize and contextualize the events surrounding the cases, to humanize the people whose lives have been destroyed, and to establish identities amidst an overwhelming sea of facts and statistics. In addition, this Article provides valuable insights and information for clinicians, counselors, families, friends, employers, and communities working to help wrongfully convicted women, and for lawyers, policy-makers, and advocates working to promote social justice and criminal justice reform. By documenting a final message from the interviewed women to other exonorees, Dr. Konvisser gives voice to their unique experiences and encourages the innocence movement forward.

The article may be downloaded below.

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