News 03.19.14

Idaho Woman Released from Prison after More than a Decade

An Idaho woman who spent more than a decade behind bars was released last Friday and sent home to resume her life.

Idaho Innocence Project

client Sarah Pearce was one of four people convicted of a June 2000 roadside kidnapping, beating and stabbing of a motorist.



Idaho Statesman

reported that Pearce’s life sentence was amended last week to time served plus five years of supervised release. Last month, the


reported that the Idaho Innocence Project identified another woman as the perpetrator who was initially a suspect until she passed a lie detector test. The project’s director, Greg Hampikian, said the lie detector results were called into question after his client had been convicted and it was too late. The assailant was initially described as a short woman who appeared to be the girlfriend of one of the men and spoke Spanish in front of the victim. Hampikian noted that Sarah is taller and does not speak Spanish.


While the victim maintains that Pearce was the ringleader in the attack, Pearce maintains her innocence and says she was misidentified.




reports that Pearce said, “This is a tragic misidentification . . . I did not commit this crime, but all the same I was punished for it. The experience goes almost too deep for words. I will try to walk away from this taking more from it than it has taken from me.”


Pearce was joined in court by her mom and dozens of friends and representatives from the Idaho Innocence Project, which took on her case in 2007.


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