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Kristine Bunch to Speak on Her Wrongful Incarceration on Feb. 19

LONGMEADOW — What happens when you’re wrongfully convicted of a crime, only to be exonerated after spending almost two decades in prison? Kristine Bunch, executive director of JustIS 4 JustUS Inc., will be on the Bay Path University campus on Wednesday, Feb. 19 to share her story of wrongful conviction.

After spending more than 17 years behind bars after she was arrested and charged with setting a fire that claimed the life of her 3-year-old son, Anthony, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the conviction. Bunch, who had earned undergraduate degrees in English and anthropology from Ball State University in prison, was released on her own recognizance — 17 years, one month, and 16 days after her wrongful arrest. Eight days before Christmas 2012, the prosecution dropped all of the charges.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for the Bay Path community, and especially our students and future students, to hear Kristine’s remarkable story of overcoming the tragic injustice she suffered and her inspiring, relentless advocacy to secure justice for other exonerees,” said Gwen Jordan, chair of Bay Path’s Justice and Legal Studies Department and previously a staff attorney for the Illinois Innocence Project. “Kristine’s raw honesty provides a unique insight into the consequences of convicting the innocent and provides a pathway for all of us to help prevent future wrongful convictions.”

This free event, open to the public, will be held at Mills Theatre in Carr Hall, Bay Path University, 588 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow. For more information or to register, visit wrongfulincarceration.eventbrite.com.

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