Kim Long Spent 7 Years in Prison for a Murder She Did Not Commit

San Francisco, November 30, 2020 – In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court once and for all tossed out Kim Long’s murder conviction, agreeing with the trial court that the result of the trial would have been different had the jury heard about a time of death analysis.  In its decision, the Court wrote, “The [trial] court ruled that expert testimony estimating time of death before [Kim] arrived home ‘could reasonably raise a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors’ and ‘could be fatal to the People’s case.’ Applying our independent judgment, we agree.”

Kim was released in 2016 after her trial judge, Riverside Superior Court Judge Magers reversed her conviction, finding the result of the trial would have been different had the jury heard from a time of death expert about when the victim, Kim’s live-in boyfriend, died.  Kim was released on bail that year despite an appeal by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.  The Court of Appeal reversed the Superior Court.  Today’s decision, relying on the time of death analysis, once again affirms Kim’s innocence.

“I was thrilled to read the California Supreme Court decision on Kim Long’s case,” said Justin Brooks, Director of the California Innocence Project and a Professor of Law at California Western School of Law.  “This ruling ends a 17-year legal battle and affirms that Kim Long never should have been convicted of this heinous crime.”

Despite the years-long legal battle, Kim has been gainfully employed and enjoying her freedom to the best of her ability.  She has become reacquainted with her family and friends and has rejoined society as a productive member.

“It’s with mixed emotions that we celebrate this tremendous win,” said Alissa Bjerkhoel, Litigation Coordinator at the California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law.  “On the one hand, Kim Long has been vindicated once again and by the highest court of our state.  On the other hand, it has been nearly a two-decade battle to get to this point.  I am so proud of our justice system for correcting this wrong and I am even more proud of Kim, the strongest woman I know, who has had to endure this nightmare for far too long.”

About the California Innocence Project

The California Innocence Project is a California Western School of Law clinical program dedicated to the release of wrongfully convicted inmates and providing an outstanding educational experience for students enrolled in the clinic. The California Innocence Project receives approximately 1,500 claims from inmates each year and has freed 34 wrongfully convicted clients since its inception. Read more at: