SIUC presentation features woman discussing battle to clear her name | Events
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The public is invited to attend a free presentation on Julie Rea, a mother convicted in 1997 of the brutal murder of her 10-year-old son Joel, and her fight to clear her name.
With help from the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project, Rea was able to clear her name and she will be sharing her story at noon on Thursday, Nov. 15, in the courtroom of the Hiram H. Lesar Law Building on the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus.
According to SIUC, Rea's story was aired on ABC's 20/20 shortly after she was sentenced. Dianne Fanning, author of "Through the Window," watched. Her book details the confession of serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells to Joel's murder and her work led to efforts to exonerate Rea.
The Downstate Innocence Project worked to corroborate Sells’ confession. The efforts by those affiliated with the project caused the appellate court to vacate Rea’s conviction and release her from prison. A second jury acquitted Rea and she subsequently received a Certificate of Innocence.
The Illinois Innocence Project, as it is now known, is pairing with the SIU School of Law to sponsor Rea’s discussion of her experience. SIU law Professor William Schroeder and Associate Professor Chris Behan, as well as law students, work with the Illinois Innocence Project.
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