A woman that was wrongfully convicted of murdering her parents in an arson attack has been freed from jail.
The woman spent 17 years in jail.
Frances Choy was just 17 years old when her parents passed away in a house fire, which happened in April 2003.
She was given 2 life sentences with no possibility of parole as a result of her parent’s death.
However, she was exonerated after it was found that the prosecutors that were handling her case shared racially and sexually offensive emails.
The first trial of Choy ended up in a hung jury, where she was convicted in May 2011.
On September 17, 2020, Superior Court Judge Linda Giles vacated the convictions of the innocent woman.
Anne Trinh-Choy, 53, and Ching ‘Jimmy’ Choy, 64, the parents of Choy, were killed in the house fire.
Kenneth Choy, the nephew of Frances, who was 16 when the incident happened, was acquitted of murder in 2008.
According to court documents, Kenneth told a friend that he wanted to start the fire so he could take revenge.
However, before the third trial of Frances, Kenneth moved back to Hong Kong.
Frances was represented by an attorney who worked for the Boston College Innocence Program at Boston College Law School.
A lawyer in private practice was also helping out Frances.
Professor Sharon Beckman, of Boston College Law School, was convinced that Choy was an innocent crime victim that was being treated like a criminal.
A notice was filed on September 29, 2020, by prosecutors stating that they will not be pursuing charges against Frances.
Judge Giles, who was handling the case of Frances, talked about the fact that prosecutors that were handling the case of Frances in a statement.
The trial prosecutors exchanged numerous images of Asian people, some accompanied by pejorative comments, and some unexplained. They exchanged ‘jokes’ about Asian stereotypes, and mocking caricatures of Asians using imperfect English.
The wrongful conviction was a result of racism.
Official misconduct and systemic failures were also involved.
Frances, who is now 34, said that she still misses her parents.
In a statement that was released by her lawyers, she said:
Nothing can erase the pain of losing my parents and how they suffered. I miss them every day. Even in prison I tried to live my life in a way that honoured them. I’m relieved that the truth has been revealed and to have my life back beyond prison walls.
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