Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Spotlight on Julie Rea Harper

Since her release in 2008, Julie Rae Harper has been dedicated to helping other wrongfully convicted women. Julie was convicted in 2002 and sentenced to 65 years in prison for the murder of her ten-year- old son. After serving five years, she was released after a new trial allowed her defense to present a taped confession of a serial killer.

In 2010, Julie was present at an Innocence Network Conference where she met other female exonerees, realizing they shared experiences that were different from wrongfully imprisoned men. This led her to create the Women and Innocence Conference a year later, drawing over 100 exonerees, attorneys, and supporters. Julie urged Northwestern’s Center on Wrongful Convictions to create a specific project for freeing wrongfully convicted women.

In November, Julie’s dream became a reality when she was a keynote speaker at the launch of the Center on Wrongful Convictions’ Women’s Project. (Learn more, here.) We applaud Julie on this wonderful achievement!