The gears of justice can grind slowly. In this case, for 15 years.
One individual who spent that long incarcerated after being wrongfully convicted of child molestation walked out of a California prison a free man last fall, thanks to efforts of the School of Law’s Northern California Innocence Project.
Larry Pohlschneider, 49, of Red Bluff, between Redding and Chico, had been convicted of molesting the three children of his partner at the time. Maitreya Badami, assistant legal director of the Innocence Project, enlisted an expert on child abuse and neglect who examined the evidence and was appalled that Pohlschneider’s attorney hadn’t challenged a medical report that was key to his conviction. The district attorney’s office agreed that the charges should be dismissed due to ineffective assistance of Pohlschneider’s trial counsel.
Weeks after Pohlschneider’s release, a judge ruled that the man was “factually innocent” and therefore due $140 for each day he spent in prison, which totaled more than $750,500.
Since its inception in 2001, the Innocence Project has helped exonerate 18 people who had collectively served more than 230 years.